Sunday, October 3, 2010

Folger Consort "Pastime with Good Company" - Folger Shakespeare Library - Oct 2 2010

Folger Consort - Well this is DC, but is it rock? No, it is classical music, but I am a Henry VIII fanatic and I enjoy the Folger Theater as a great place to go to see music or theater, ergo a review is forthcoming. Henry VIII has always fascinated me and I have long recommended a study of that regime to prepare one for a career in office politics. One time at Windsor Castle, I discovered the Holbein painting of Thomas Howard, the 3rd Duke of Norfolk who was responsible for providing both beheaded wives for the King. I was so fascinated with the painting and chatting with the guard, that I missed my tour bus for the rest of the day and had to train back to London. As for the King, he was a fine player and composer as a young man and his song "Passetyme with Good Cumpanye" has been covered many times including rock acts like Robin Williamson (Incredible String Band) and Deep Purple's Richie Blackmore. Tonight the Folger Ensemble has five players with lute, cello like viols, violin, recorder, flute, bagpipe and other wooden wind instruments (forerunners to clarinets, oboes and bassoons). Lionheart is also here as a six-voice singing ensemble. The program includes anonymous pieces from the era, composers like William Cornysh from the King's Court, and five songs from the King himself. They play three instrumentals from the Henry VIII songbook which fit well into the program. They do a song called "Though sum saith that yough rulyth me" which was fairly complex and moving. The closer was the famous "Pastime with Good Company" which as a song, is as good as most anything written today. The players tonight had full vocals going with energetic strings, winds and drum. A great closer to a very fine program.
File:Holbein, Hans - Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk.jpg 
Thomas Howard, Duke of Norfolk and Henry VIII at coronation

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