The best meeting yet? Some are claiming that, and it’s hard to disagree. We were graced by a visit from the American lute maestro, Ed Martin. Ed is very self-effacing, but is definitely a high-quality player with a lot of experience and knowledge. More about Ed later…
Dorothee O’Sullivan Burchard kicked off proceedings by playing a beginner piece from Diane Poulton’s tutor. Dorothee has been playing but a short time, but makes a beautiful tone, which some seasoned players fail to match. Well done, Dorothee, and keep at it!
Eric Thomas is another player with exquisite tone, and is our Resident Thumb Inside player. He played three pieces from the Rowallan manuscript, including “I never knew I loved thee”, eliciting a strong round of applause.
Bill Samson played two pieces by Attaignent on his self-made 6c lute: ‘Tant que vivray’ and the base danse, ‘La Roque’. Bill’s last few performances have been growing in strength and confidence, this one continuing the trend. Great stuff, Bill.
Rob MacKillop gave us a four-movement suite in Dm by Robert de Visee. Rob seemed relaxed, and drew forth some beautiful tones from his Bill Samson 11c lute, kitted out in all-gut strings by Damian Dlugolecki. There were a few remarks about how even the lute sounded from treble to bass.
James Jackson played a 12c hire-lute from The Lute Society, made in David van Edwards’ lute-making workshop within one week. It’s a fine, strong instrument. James played two pieces from the Balcarres manuscript. Nice to hear more Scottish lute music. James will soon be moving to Scotland permanently, so we hope to see and hear more from him.
Stuart McLuckie always entertains, and today gave two confident performances: Ricercha (Ness 84) – Francesco da Milano, and
Cessez mortels de souspirer – Pierre Guedron, arr. David van Ooijen. Great stuff, Stuart.
Philip Lord read Wilson’s Wild from Poulton’s book, and gave his best performance to date – a lesson for us all in not preparing, just turn up and read something! Sometimes we prepare too much, and worry about what we will play like. It was refreshing to see someone completely unprepared read something perfectly. Well done, Philip.
Chris Jupp continues to sound more proficient every time he plays, and today he was relaxed enough to allow some beautiful moments of sensitivity in Francesco’s no.40, to float around the room.
Chris Jupp and Eric Thomas then gave a wonderful duet performance of La Rossignol and a Canon by Milano. It is really wonderful to see members get together for small ensembles. Another couple next time, lads!
Ed Martin – What can we say about Ed Martin? He gave an excellent performance of a group of pieces in D Major by Kellner, on a lute he hadn’t seen before that morning. He also gave an interesting introduction to the music, full of fascinating insights into Kellner’s life. Thanks, Ed, and feel free to pop by any time!
Philip Lord and Bill Samson chaired a discussion about a future venue, as St Cecilia’s Hall will be closing for over a year. No decision was made, but it is a matter of urgency, which will hopefully be resolved soon.
Finally, the entire membership worked on our first ensemble piece: Awake Sweet Love by John Dowland, arranged by Rob MacKillop. After a shaky first read-through, we managed to make a fairly musical sound! I was impressed, and encouraged to arrange more pieces. Well done everybody. Watch this space for more ensemble music.
Also in attendance was Angus Robertson, a one-time lute and harpsichord maker. It was great to see Angus, and maybe one day he could give us a talk about his exploits.
All photos by Bill Samson, save for the one of Bill Samson, which was by Rob MacKillop: