Drink and Baroque music. Who could have guessed? Melanie Eskenazi raises her glass.
Inventive as ever, the youthful ensemble Eboracum Baroque, as the name suggests with strong connections to the city of York, will present a jolly evening of Purcell and other composers, on Saturday 20th at 19.00.
Hopefully accompanied by much quaffing of ‘Honest malt liquor’ and cups of ‘Old Stingo,’ the concert is being given in partnership with Calverleys Beer – as well as the suggested beer tastings in the interval, song sheets are provided so that audiences may join in with a couple of the lustier songs. Some of us would probably need to be well oiled in advance in order to do that!
As usual with this ensemble, the programme is a mixture of the recognizable and the often unjustly neglected – extracts from The English Dancing Master and King Arthur are set alongside such delightfully named sources as The Catch Club or Merry Companions being a Choice Collection of the most Diverting Catches for three and Four voices.’ Purcell himself is said to have suffered an early death – at 35 or 36 – when he came home a bit too late either from the pub or the theatre (recollections may vary) and was locked out by his wife, leading to his succumbing to a severe chill.
As well as the drinking songs, there are instrumental pieces which will allow the players to shine, most notably Jacob van Eyck’s Wat Zal Men op den Avond Doen (What shall we do in the evening?) to which the answer might well be, tune in to YouTube or Facebook and enjoy singing (or maybe just listening to) such delights as ‘Of honest malt liquor let English boys sing / A pox take French claret we’ll drink no such thing.’