The Topping Tooters of the Town
Music of the London Waits 1550 – 1650
‘These are the topping tooters of the town, and have gowns, silver chains, and salaries, for playing “Lilliburlero” to my Lord Mayor's horse through the city.'
This programme is a celebration of the music of the ‘waits’ – town musicians who were famed in London for their artistry and skill on a par with those at the court. Waits were wind players first and foremost and this concert is a celebration of the broad repertoire waits would have played. The ‘Topping Tooters’ play on cornetts, sackbuts, dulcian, recorders and bagpipes. The concert contains music for ceremony, civic procession, sophisticated masque and theatre pieces as well as popular dance and song for performance in tavern and communal dance hall.
The Prince and the Piper
Music in German Court and City 1550-1620
A new project from The City Musick, this programme explores the colourful world of the professional bands employed in the courts of German nobility and the prosperous towns in their territories. Dance and instrumental songs from the collections of the town pipers of Breslau, Nürnberg, Munich and Innsbruck are mixed with repertoire from the wind band manuscripts of the court of Archduke Karl II of Graz, Moritz, Landgraf von Hessen and the court of Christian IV of Denmark. Composers include Praetorius, Lassus, Striggio, Altenburg, Schein and Utendahl. The instruments used are those of the professional wind and brass players of the time, playing for feasts, solemn processions and in dance halls: shawms, cornetts, trombones, rackett, crumhorns and recorders
Heigh Ho Holiday
Christmas was a time of extended festivities and layers of tradition in 17th century London. This concert represents festive music and song as played by the civic band, the Waits, whose traditional duties included playing for the singing of carols around the streets of the city. The London waits were ‘excellent and expert musitians’ who performed for masque, theatre, civic ceremony and in church, also giving regular public concerts.
With seasonal readings from Shakespeare to Hardy interspersed amongst pious harmonies and festive dances such as ‘Heigh-Ho Holiday’ and ‘As it fell on a Holie Eve’, this concert is a perfect evocation of Christmas as celebrated 400 years ago.
Silver Sounds & Moody Food
Music in Shakespeare's London
A new programme to mark the 400 years since Shakespeare died in 1616. The City Musick perform interludes, 'Act' music and music for masques performed at the Inns of Court, theatre songs and dances. The concert presents, with readings, a vivid view of musical and everyday life in Shalespeare's London, both inside and outside the theatre. Composers include John Adson, Simon Ives, John Dowland, Wiliam Byrd and Thomas Ravenscroft. As well as instrumental ensemble music on cornetts. sackbuts, shawms, dulcian and recorders, the performers sing rounds and city catches and stirring psalms from the 'Whole Booke of Psalmes'