Well, a very busy and somewhat unusual meeting, with new faces, and some interesting discussion. It was good to see new attendees – always welcome. Many thanks to all for turning out on such a dreich day.
Rob MacKillop started proceedings with a 15-minute recital, on a completely gut strung theorbo by Jiri Cepelak. It was great to hear a theorbo played with appropriate strings, made by Damian Dlugolecki ( http://damianstrings.com ) Rob played a Passacaglia in Dm, Capona, and Kapsberger, by Kapsberger; Corrente VI sopra l’Alemana, and Variations on the Romanesca by Piccinini; and La Royalle by Robert de Visée. He discussed the origins and construction of the theorbo, and one over-excited reviewer 😉 claimed the performance was “Brilliant. A very convincing performance of subtle music”.
Bill Samson played the twin guitar of the one he played at the last meeting. This time it was a spruce-top Samson guitar (after Manuel Ramirez), thought by some to be brighter than the previous cedar instrument. Bill played a Divertimento by Bartolomé Calatayud, and lessons 8 and 9 from Book 2 of the Guitar method by Julio Sagreras. We were indeed charmed, both by the charming sound of the instrument, but also of the charming manner of the performer. It was charming!
Yasuhiro Nakashima, in what was to be his last visit for at least a year, performed the lute Toccata VII by Kapsberger. Typically, the toccata brought together fast scalic runs punctuated by chords, and quasi-fugal imitative passages, which covered the whole range of his 8c lute. He also played his own arrangement of the beautiful Courante and Double from the Panmure 5 manuscript.
Our resident Texan, Rebecca Laird, presented a talk on early Blues music from Texas, with a very interesting mention of women artistes, such as Sippie Wallace (The Texas Nightingale), Victoria Spivey (Queen Victoria), and Osceola Mays, none of whom I had heard of – fascinating stuff. Rebecca has a career ahead of her as an academic researcher who can also play bad-ass-blues, should she want it. 🙂
Chris Jupp deftly wound his way through two excellent pieces by Anthony Holborne: Hey Ho Holiday, and a related Galliard. Chris just gets better the more relaxed his posture is. Something to think about…Keep it up, Chris. Good stuff.
Another member who seems to improve with every meeting is Stuart McLuckey, who played two Dowland items: Mrs Winter’s Jump, and Mrs Nichol’s Almain. Stuart could have played them thrice over without losing our interest.
Philip Lord was given a 19th-century guitar some 50 years ago, and he used it today to play from the book he bought at the time to teach himself to play, a then modern edition of Carulli’s Op. 211. Two items were presented, something “in G”, followed by an Andantino. The guitar sound was gorgeous, and I look forward to hearing it again, as Philip gains some confidence and security in his playing.
Jim Tribble made his SLEGS debut by playing the famous Packington’s Pound – I remember it as Packington’s Shilling, but that’s inflation for you! – and also The Merry Melancholy, both from Thomas Robinson’s School of Musicke. He then proceeded to play a medieval fiddle. Jim hasn’t been playing lute for long, but we expect to hear great things from him at future meetings.
That was followed by the usual free-form blether, as instruments were offered and tried, and folk asked questions about what they had just heard.
Colour photos by Bill Samson, black and white photos by Rob MacKillop.