Tamesis Issue 264 November 2017
Are you coming to the baroque day on Sunday by train? If so, I’m told that Burnham
station will be closed. I’m arranging lifts to meet the 9.35 from Paddington which
arrives at Slough at 9.52. If you would like a lift or could offer one from Slough,
please contact me.
David King has asked me to remind you that a small continuo team is needed for the
January Scarlatti workshop. Details are on the form with this mailing.
Tamesis is rather late this month because there wasn’t time to finish it between my
weekend in Antwerp and the Greenwich Early Music Festival. Antwerp has a fantastic
collection of museums, including the Rubens House and MAS, but for me the highlight
is the Plantin Moretus house. Plantin and Moretus were highly successful 17th century
printers and the house and printing works were in continuous use until relatively
recently, with the result that the building still contains its luxurious furniture and
paintings, many by Rubens, displays of printed books and music, and a vast collection
of printing presses and type. We spent the whole day there and still didn’t feel we’d
I was surprised how few forum members there seemed to be at Blackheath. I know
the venue isn’t as glamorous as the Painted Hall, but there were plenty of exhibitors
and the concerts were outstanding. Many thanks to Jerry Burbidge of Jacks Pipes and
Hammers for giving us and NEMA enough room for our leaflets after the forum stand
was cancelled for safety reasons (due to its position, not our inflammable literature!)
Thanks very much for all the contributions this month, including the two contrasting
views of the facsimile day.
There was a good attendance including a number of TVEMF members at the memorial
event for Theo Wyatt last month and some former members took part in musical
tributes. Apart from those his family, there were appreciations given by the chairman
of the Kingston Chamber Music Society and from Philip Thorby, who co-directed many
of the courses, including the current Ascot and Irish courses. I have fond memories of
Theo's recorder courses in the 1970s which provided a week of mostly one-to-a-part
playing with some larger ensembles and concerted gathering in the evenings. The
mornings started with a “permanent” group which met every day and today I play
regularly with two people I met in one of those groups, though we have moved on to
early brass. Theo organised compatible groups for the week and my own experience
with Renaissance playing days tells me just how much effort went into this.
Theo had a huge collection of music and pioneered low-cost music-publishing with his
Oriel Library publications for recorder which continue under his daughter Cathy
Gaskell, and Merton Music, his chamber music publications, which also continue. On
his courses Theo was an wonderfully unassuming, kindly tutor who would gently put a
group on the right path before going on to the sort out the next one. If recorder
players ever choose a patron saint then I hope it will be St Theo, though as a
confirmed atheist he might be rather shocked.
Another recent occasion where I recognised a number of fellow-members was at the
35th Anniversary concert by His Majestys Sagbutts & Cornetts in St John's, Smith
Square. I thoroughly enjoyed the concert in which the brass were joined by Charles
Daniels (tenor), Ben Davies (baritone) and William Whitelaw (organ). As I have been
on courses with all three of the group's cornett players and had lessons with Jeremy
West it was particularly good to hear them in such fine form. Two us in the audience
had been playing in the afternoon and thus had our instruments with us but
fortunately no reinforcements were required!
As usual we are looking forward to the Christmas event directed by Philip Thorby. As
I write this I have no idea what the subject will be but if Philip decides to do a detailed
study of “Jingle Bells” I'm sure it will be fascinating.