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February 2005

There are some new dates for your diary this month. We also have a number of events in the pipeline, not yet confirmed. We hope that Alison Crum will be doing a voices and viols day on (probably) the 9th July. I shall be running a baroque chamber music day in November, probably on the 5th so I hope there won't be too many daytime fireworks! Put these dates in your diary but check next month that they haven't changed. We are also planning an event with Jeffrey Skidmore, possibly in October.
Please note that the Renaissance Playing Day at Burnham is on Sunday 27th February, not the day before. The form sent out last month had the correct date on it, but I somehow had the wrong information when I was writing Tamesis.

Included with this mailing is the form for the next Baroque chamber music day, which is organised by Peter Collier, the director of the Oxford Baroque summer school. It started off a few years ago as a reunion for past members of the summer school, but so many of these were also forum members that we were very pleased to be able to make it a joint event open to all our members. The form contains less detail than our usual ones, but the event will be run very much like one of my own baroque days and Peter will send out more information to you after he has received your booking. Please email me if you need any general information before you book. One thing I can strongly recommend is that you bring your own lunch as the waiting time at the pub is often over an hour, and you can of course eat your picnic inside the school. The shops at Headington are within walking distance.

Back-numbers of Tamesis can be seen on
Victoria Helby

Chairman's Chat
It's renewal time, and already some 220 forms have arrived. One or two people are not happy with the way the instruments and voices are listed, and I concede that it could perhaps be clearer. However the listing is (almost) unambiguous and has served us since 1988. The possible ambiguity arises with recorder, where I use the letters s, a, t, v, b & c to indicate the size of instrument, and the letters p, c, f or b to show the proficiency level. Because the latter is not compulsory it is theoretically possible that someone who is listed as "REC c" might be a competent player of unspecified recorders, or a player of just the contrabass recorder of unspecified standard. I would have been inclined to asses the probability of the latter as approaching zero were it not for the fact that one of my friends used to be in precisely that category. Sadly, however, he is no longer with us and I am prepared to insist on a standard being given should any other such person appear. This is just a long-winded way of reminding you that it's time to return those forms!

The Portuguese workshop was pretty successful, though I must apologise to a couple of members who were less than happy with the way things went. The layout of the seating was not very good and we will try to do better next time. For some reason there was a late rush of treble instruments which made us have to share parts, as I miscalculated the requirements, so apologies to those who shared. The Estaves Lamentations was better than I thought it was going to be whilst I was typesetting it. Many thanks are due to Wayne Plummer for setting the other pieces - such a pity he was too ill to attend. Thanks too to John Graham for organising the event - he is talking of a possible workshop of Polish music with Peter Leech next year, so that is a novelty to look forward to.

We could do with a few more singers, especially tenors and altos, for the forthcoming Renaissance day. Instrumentalists will also be welcome, as the more varied and numerous the participants the better chance I have of making up compatible groups. If you can only manage two or three sessions then don't be afraid to come, as long as you tell me which you want to attend.
David Fletcher

Circular Quiz
There were quite a lot of entries to Sidney Ross's very clever circular quiz. I wrote the names of all the entrants on separate pieces of paper, jumbled them up and the first correct one I picked was from Tim Samuelson. The prize was intended to be a year's free subscription to the forum, but as Tim already gets Tamesis because he is the SEMF contact I decided to award him free entry to a one-day TVEMF event of his choice. Next entry out of the hat (or waste paper basket in fact) was Don Gill, so he wins the year's free subscription. I didn't try the quiz myself because I had been sent the answers, but I thought it looked quite hard, so congratulations to both of you and to all the other correct entries. Here are the questions again complete with the answers.

1.Great German, little Welshman (4) Bach
2.Carries a revolver without hesitation (5) Holst
3.But he doesn't come round to repair your set ! (8) Telemann
4.Condition for unsuccessful butterfly hunt (5) Nonet
5.Composer of great stature, apparently (6) Tallis
6.Proverbially wise pianist (7) Solomon
7.Not a single chorister originally sang for him (5) Nasco
8.Reaction to the Threepenny Opera ? (7) Obrecht
9.Innkeeper of note (8) Taverner
10.Hires pig, being wholly disorganised (8) Respighi
11.Venerated in Huntingdon and Cornwall (4) Ives
12. Composer and decorator (7) Stainer
13.Farmland set aside for Tower guardians (11) Ravenscroft
14.Harmonious gang ? (5) Triad
15. Electrical direction to performers (1,1) D.C.
16.Two-thirds of him was absolutely heavenly (9) Cherubini
17.Distance between members of 14 (8) Interval
18.Unchanging composer ?(7) Lambert
19.Tragic heroine gets into scary situation...(5) Tosca
20....but does she help another one ?(4) Aida
21.Colourless, approaching Ulster... (8) Albinoni
22....with which he has no connexion (7) Ireland
23.Mode that is Wildly uninteresting (6) Dorian
24.See his new publication (7) Novello
25.1 is frequently on the programme, so we hear (9) Offenbach

Opportunities to make music
The next open workshop hosted by the Renaissance Singers will be on Monday 21st February from 7 to 9.15pm. In his 500th anniversary year the programme will be the music of Thomas Tallis and in particular his music for Lent. The austere beauty of this repertory is a reminder of what the Lenten season meant for Tallis and his contemporaries.

The workshop will be in the upper hall of St Pancras Church House in Lancing Street, just off Eversholt Street which runs up the eastern side of Euston Station. Tea and coffee will be provided at the interval. Renaissance Singers contacts are in the Concert and Events listings, or to book a place visit

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