Elizabethan entertainment

PUBLISHED: 12:45 04 May 2007 | UPDATED: 20:01 01 June 2010

DUE to overwhelming public response to its first concert of the season, Wisbech Music Society decided to change its venue, and presented its second concert at the town s Trinity Methodist Church. Given by England s Helicon, a male and female duo, the prog

DUE to overwhelming public response to its first concert of the season, Wisbech Music Society decided to change its venue, and presented its second concert at the town's Trinity Methodist Church.

Given by England's Helicon, a male and female duo, the programme of Elizabethan music and verse was a mixed bag of the familiar and unfamiliar, cheerful and lachrymose, esoteric and entertaining.

Though some would consider it 'old hat', it constituted an informative and relaxing vocal and instrumental soiree. And the sedate couple of Dorothy Linell (lute, recorders and viols), and Gerald Place (tenor), seemed to have a passion for the period.

Miss Linell played the lute with great sensitivity, whereas Mr Place possesses a pleasant tone (though strained occasionally in the upper register), superb resonance and diction.

The opening vocal, Where the Bee Sucks, by 16th century composer Robert Johnson, engendered a buzz of interest, whereas John Dowland's Melancholy Galliard was typically tearful.

Mr Place's singing of It Was a Lover, by Thomas Morley, showed his vocal compatibility with the piece, and Henry Purcell's If Music be the Food of Love proved an appropriate finale.

I was left in a dilemma, however, as to whether the Shakespearean extracts were supposed to be said or acted.

REX MOUNTAIN

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