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The BC Recorder Society’s 2016 annual Winter Musicale took place on December 1 in the Fireside Room at St. Philip’s Church. Some forty recorder enthusiasts attended to perform and enjoy the varied program. A semi-circle of music stands bedecked in tinsel and holly was backed by a blazing fire in preparation for the largest group of the evening, the six Jupiter Players, who played a Canzone by Salomone Rossi, always appreciated for his singing, layered polyphony. They were followed by Jupiter’s subset quartet Taksu who chose pieces by Palestrina and Morley, both exemplifying the Renaissance penchant for finding beauty in dark places – Nolo Mortem Peccatoris.
Duo Felix continued their Corelli explorations with his Sonata 2 in D min. Colin and Andrea MacDonald’s cuing was seamless, prompting me to wonder which of them was leading when both wear the pants! Bar None stayed in the Baroque period with a quintet arrangement of a Concerto in F by J.C. Pepusch, their “broken consort” supported by Elizabeth Paterson’s steady hand on the virginal, a smaller harpsichord.
For this writer, the highlight of the evening was Flauto Dolce,
aka Sydney Welch, performing two soprano solos by English contemporary composer Alan Bullard from his book of Recipes. Coffee and Croissants alternated speedy runs with buttery smoothness and Fish and Chips delighted with its humour and the expressive use of the full two octaves and a fifth range of the recorder, probably a first for this gathering! The performance section of the evening concluded with Anthony Morgan‘s continuing exploration of J.S. Bach on the recorder with an arrangement of the keyboard Preludio in G minor, BWV 558.
Kudos to Andrea MacDonald, Jan Berney and Mark Demers for each performing in three ensembles, thus ensuring that their lives are scheduled full of music sharing!
After everyone present had gorged on delicious seasonal baking we re-convened for a group play of seasonal music. Everyone present received a thick stack of scores chosen from the Society’s library by Liz Paterson and Jan Berney. With President Lynne Taylor conducting, everyone picked whatever line they fancied in a given piece. It was surprising how much music we were able to read through, and what a joyful and tuneful sound we made! Merry Christmas to all!