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Monday, 14 August 2017

Cool for cats ? [uncorrected proof]

This is an appraisal [uncorrected proof] of Kedi (2016)

More views of - or before - Cambridge Film Festival 2017 (19 to 26 October)
(Click here to go directly to the Festival web-site)


This is an appraisal [uncorrected proof] of Kedi (2016), as seen at Saffron Screen on Monday 14 August 2017 at 8.00 p.m.


Kedi (2016) is no more about cats¹ than Visitors (2013) is about alien life per se² on Earth : likewise, Wes Anderson does not intend us to understand The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014) to be telling part of the history of The Republic of Zubrowka...

What probably cannot be told, even at the time of filming [the calendar included in one shot seems to show that at least part of the shoot was in 2014], could even less so now : in the Turkey of President Erdoğan, would making this film even be allowed...?


Plus-points :

* The nauticality, the maritime nature, of Istanbul both strongly and very beautifully comes out at times, and makes one think of - and long for - Venezia !

* it is very good that at least two (human) participants are heard talking about their mental-health issues in relation to how being with and caring for cats helps them (one says what her therapist thinks, one attributes his progress, after a nervous breakdown in 2002, to looking to feeding the street cats)

* The stories about the cats – whether one or two, or in numbers that run into tens – emerge as a way of managing one’s notional world, through having an understanding of it that is rooted in telling oneself how it is, and the film’s director (Ceyda Torun) acknowledges these stories and, through editing and framing, partly gives an authority to them (saying which, takes from what are clearly different occasions³ are editorially conflated to the end of telling visually what those near to the cat(s) want (us) to believe about each one)

* Though where the film comes into its own is at the point when talk about, or reflection on, the cats of the city shades into alluding to other things – to the question for whom cities and the life within them exist, what it is to be human, and what we lose to our peril…⁴ From this perspective, some, but not very many, of the tracks used alongside the composed score (please see below) are spot on for the part of the film for which they have been selected

* Despite some reservations (please see below), there are enough moments of pure cinema to please the fussy watcher of film – plus ones of unforced smiles and laughs about what it is about cats that has some people embrace philosophies or beliefs that assert that cats know God directly, and that we, when we (respond to God and) serve their needs, are but mediators of God’s will


Negatives (these are all less important than they seem, since, on Kedi the 'Ayes' have it) :

* If you did build your entire hopes for the film on seeing the cat from the poster, it is just in one shot

* Which could also be a positive, the fact that some of the film looks – for not necessarily being the best take, but perhaps an atmospheric one – unpolished

* With the first cat featured (who, about the body, is one of the more obviously unsymmetrical ones - ginger, but with predominantly white legs (one of which has a ginger 'flash')), one is 86% certain – and would have to re-watch, when the film is on DVD, to check – that some footage has been flipped, left to right, because, one imgines, having the image that way around looked right (ginger 'flash' apart) / fitted with that segment’s dynamic better⁵

* Kira Fontana’s original score for the film [one looks in vain to IMDb (@IMDb) for much detail about the film, except the soundtrack] is sometimes too intrusive on what one is seeing (for example, the ‘shimmer’ effect of what sounds like low-reverb vibraphone over marimba), with the result of detracting from what it tries to respond to (rather than amplifying it)

* Even when Fontana brings back the principal theme in its full form (presumably, ‘Nine Lives’), which feels as though it is meant to be the final reprise that pulls out all the stops (musically, and so emotionally), there is a connected question :

Does the film do itself a disservice by seeming to build to a closing image, but then reprising the featured cats, and ending (after an unattributed short commentary by voice-over⁶) on another shot and a fade-out – as if not confident that it has established the star cats in our mind ?


Maybe some closing words here (a quotation from Russell Hoban's novel Pilgermann might be good - or from his collection The Moment Under The Moment ?)... or maybe that is it... ?


End-notes :

¹ As one might guess, 'Kedi' is Turkish for 'cat'.

² In part, Godfrey Reggio is invoking a Biblical saying (1 Chronicles 29 : 15), and alluding to its wider relevance.

³ With, for example, the cat who taps on the window of the bar / restaurant when hungry, the open or shut front door, and where the cat is tapping, give this away.

⁴ With one commentator saying that, if people have lost their relation to cats, it is for them to rediscover it (not for cats to change who they are), for it is to our detriment. Kedi unavoidably reminds of the deeper matter of such films Citizen Jane : Battle for the City (2016), The Human Scale (2012), and A Dangerous Game (2014)…

⁵ If one watches too many films (or is otherwise attuned, as to an out-of-tune string orchestra), it may also grate when the chosen aesthetics of documentary have led the cinematographer (and director) to arbitrary choices about how to shoot. Such as evoking immediacy through a very shallow depth of field and / or when the focus keeps shifting during the shot (even if either may not just actually have some viewers irresistibly hunting around the image - trying to find something in focus, and not greatly fore- or backgrounded…).

⁶ It could have been added at any time, not least because it feels more contemporary to the Turkey of now than much of the film (except the clearances of the orchards, and the similar threat to the market area) ?




Unless stated otherwise, all films reviewed were screened at Festival Central (Arts Picturehouse, Cambridge)

Monday, 7 August 2017

Maudie - or Maudit ?

More views of - or before - Cambridge Film Festival 2017 (19 to 26 October)
(Click here to go directly to the Festival web-site)


7 August


Some observations, partly by Tweet, about Maudie (2016)

You are determined to put a stain on this family name !
Aunt Ida


This film, however based in reality, could only work on the level of parable -
and it unnecessarily laboured even that
Jacob Apsley










Some film-references :

* Being There (1979)

* Big Eyes (2014)

* Caravaggio (1986)

* Forrest Gump (1994)

* La belle et la bête (1946)

* Mr. Turner (2014)

* New York Stories (1989)








Unless stated otherwise, all films reviewed were screened at Festival Central (Arts Picturehouse, Cambridge)

Saturday, 5 August 2017

Why is mental-health charity SANE promoting a survey that seems incapable of not using 'psychosis' and 'schizophrenia' interchangeably ?

SANE promotes a survey that uses 'psychosis' and 'schizophrenia' interchangeably

More views of - or before - Cambridge Film Festival 2017 (19 to 26 October)
(Click here to go directly to the Festival web-site)


5 August

Why is mental-health charity SANE promoting a survey that seems incapable of not using 'psychosis' and 'schizophrenia' interchangeably ?













Unless stated otherwise, all films reviewed were screened at Festival Central (Arts Picturehouse, Cambridge)

Saturday, 29 July 2017

Becoming Cary Grant (2017) has its premiere - in England* - in Bristol

Becoming Cary Grant (2017) : A premiere at Cinema Rediscovered at The Watershed

More views of - or before - Cambridge Film Festival 2017 (19 to 26 October)
(Click here to go directly to the Festival web-site)


29 July (Post-script added, 11 August)

An account of the sell-out screening of Becoming Cary Grant (2017) plus Q&A at Cinema Rediscovered at Bristol's The Watershed

























Post-script, to try to formulate some thoughts about Archie more succinctly / clearly :








End-notes :

* Billed as the film's 'English premiere', this is because it showed at Edinburgh Film Festival last month.




Unless stated otherwise, all films reviewed were screened at Festival Central (Arts Picturehouse, Cambridge)

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Some Tweets about London Korean Film Festival Teaser Bluebeard (2017)

Some Tweets about London Korean Film Festival Teaser Bluebeard (2017)

More views of - or before - Cambridge Film Festival 2017 (19 to 26 October)
(Click here to go directly to the Festival web-site)


Some Tweets about London Korean Film Festival Teaser Bluebeard (2017)





Photo credits : Dae-myung Kim (and Jin-woong Jo) (upper image) ;
Actor not credited (by IMDb), and Jin-woong Jo (lower image)










Photo credits : Jin-woong Jo (upper image) ;
Goo Shin and Dae-myung Kim (centre image)
Jin-woong Jo and Yoon Se-ah (lower image)





Film-references :

* A Girl at my Door (Dohee-ya) (2014)

* Delicatessen (1991)

* El virus de la por (The Virus of Fear) (2015)

* It’s A Wonderful Life (1946)

* The Handmaiden (2016)

* The Trial (1962)







Unless stated otherwise, all films reviewed were screened at Festival Central (Arts Picturehouse, Cambridge)

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Love changes everything ?

More views of - or before - Cambridge Film Festival 2017 (19 to 26 October)
(Click here to go directly to the Festival web-site)


25 July





[...]




Unless stated otherwise, all films reviewed were screened at Festival Central (Arts Picturehouse, Cambridge)

Monday, 24 July 2017

I didn't know the art world, I didn't know living... artists existed ~ Marc Quinn

This is a review of David Lynch : The Art Life (2016)

More views of - or before - Cambridge Film Festival 2017 (19 to 26 October)
(Click here to go directly to the Festival web-site)


This is a review of David Lynch : The Art Life (2016)







David Lynch with Jack Nance during the making of Eraserhead (1977)





Film-references (in alphabetical order) :

* Calvet

* Heart of a Dog (2015)

* Marc Quinn : Making Waves (2014)

* The Confession (2016)




Unless stated otherwise, all films reviewed were screened at Festival Central (Arts Picturehouse, Cambridge)

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

The connections between Beethoven, Schubert, Chopin, and Scriabin with Joanna MacGregor

More views of - or before - Cambridge Film Festival 2017 (19 to 26 October)
(Click here to go directly to the Festival web-site)








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Unless stated otherwise, all films reviewed were screened at Festival Central (Arts Picturehouse, Cambridge)

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

John Berger ~ Always much more than the author of Ways of Seeing*

More views of - or before - Cambridge Film Festival 2017 (19 to 26 October)
(Click here to go directly to the Festival web-site)



18 July








End-notes :

* Yet, at the same time, we see how much of him - and of his work - rightly came from properly seeing : to encompass 'listening', 'creating', 'being'...




Unless stated otherwise, all films reviewed were screened at Festival Central (Arts Picturehouse, Cambridge)

A Delayed Service from Beverley I : Dr Dee's Daughter

More views of - or before - Cambridge Film Festival 2017 (19 to 26 October)
(Click here to go directly to the Festival web-site)


17 July

For now, just posting the notes - as transcribed on the train - from seeing Rust and Stardust and Palisander perform Dr Dee's Daughter at Beverley Early Music Festival on Monday 29 May 2017 at 2.00 p.m.




Rust & Stardust‏ @ruststardust1 Jun 3
Our lovely show with Palisander, Dr Dee's Daughter, has only gone and been featured in Gramophone! Looking... http://fb.me/8CrQLCQaR







@ruststardust1 [http://twitter.com/ruststardust1]

@Palisander4 [http://twitter.com/Palisander4]



Art and Artifice – Entwined


Touching and delightful show


'A father is a friend for ever'


'A true friend is a rare bird'


'Logic and love' versus 'Loss and hate'


'I thought that it would bring back your health, happiness - bring back you'


For those for whom 'knowledge is experience' [experientia - experience, though noon auctoritee]


Spend all their time *talking about* being clever - without *being* clever


An energized and enthusiastic performance - a consummate consort, wonderfully attired, thanks to Katie Sommers


Dramatic, because on stage with Rust and Stardust - the power in the narration and of the enactment


Contrabass - a huge instrument, like an organ-pipe. Scrolls on music-stands

Some staccato (some of it 'chirpy'), and some slurs and run-togethers

Imaginative stage-business, as well as involving Palisander - as well as a match of puppeteers to dolls (two girls, playing with their dolls, but believing in it), players and performers are charging around


The four different winds have different characters, of instrument and of playing


Comfort in recurring themes, but also (with Ludovico) ominous sounds, breathings (some very breathy) and intonations - toothy ?? endentures, and fractured tones




Unless stated otherwise, all films reviewed were screened at Festival Central (Arts Picturehouse, Cambridge)

Comedy and atrocity : The possible origins of 'The Chuckle Brothers' in The Journey (2016)

More views of - or before - Cambridge Film Festival 2017 (19 to 26 October)
(Click here to go directly to the Festival web-site)


This may become- hopes to become - some account of The Journey (2016), watched at Saffron Screen on Sunday 16 July at 8.00 p.m.





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Unless stated otherwise, all films reviewed were screened at Festival Central (Arts Picturehouse, Cambridge)

Saturday, 15 July 2017

Being given the bumps was [meant to be] no fun - for you...

More views of - or before - Cambridge Film Festival 2017 (19 to 26 October)
(Click here to go directly to the Festival web-site)






End-notes :

* Probably, it was my fourteenth birthday, but the resolve was there - for this day when I ceased being 13 : This is the last time / This won't happen to me again.




Unless stated otherwise, all films reviewed were screened at Festival Central (Arts Picturehouse, Cambridge)

'What we expect of the young (or the old ?) - and why' [working title]

More views of - or before - Cambridge Film Festival 2017 (19 to 26 October)
(Click here to go directly to the Festival web-site)





Unless stated otherwise, all films reviewed were screened at Festival Central (Arts Picturehouse, Cambridge)

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Edgar Wright's Baby Driver : A musical, in a Tarantino sort of way ?

This is a review, partly by Tweet, of Baby Driver (2017)

More views of - or before - Cambridge Film Festival 2017 (19 to 26 October)
(Click here to go directly to the Festival web-site)


3 July

This is a review, partly by Tweet, of Edgar Wright's Baby Driver (2017)




Baby Driver (2017) palpably cannot be about what it seems, any more than is writer / director Edgar Wright's The World's End (2013), but did the audience seem to be missing that* ?


Here, there is a quantity of humour - wry, grim, and worse - that, if one is too believing of the film as story, will perhaps not have one snorting, or shaking one's head, at the audacity of the film-making (i.e. concept / script / delivery)... which is unfortunate, because these shots, the quality and precision that Edgar Wright gives us in the framing, wording, and editing, deserve our respect for what they are, i.e. not just part of, say, another 2 Guns (2013).



By contrast, Nicolas Winding Refn's Drive (2011) really does take itself so seriously [as does [ ] The Neon Demon (2016) ?], with Ryan Gosling (credited only as Driver, though one choice of garment** suggests that he models himself elsewhere) as the man who can not only be wholesome to Carey Mulligan*** (Irene = Greek for 'Peace'), but buck an approach to and use of violence based on retribution.



Nerdist also picked up on that use of colour(s) in its posting about the film's trailer(s) :

If the trailers are any indication, it would seem Wright’s been itching at giving us some beautiful shots with vibrant color palettes and, in the moment Baby and his girlfriend are talking, a shot that just screams 'EDGAR WRIGHT NEEDS TO BE DIRECTING EVERYTHING !'


Centre right, Edgar Wright evokes a grander place than My Beautiful Laundrette (1985)


[...]



[...]


End-notes :

* In Screen 1, at 6.30 on a Monday evening.

** As mentioned in the #UCFF review.

*** Also known as Mary Culligan... :







Unless stated otherwise, all films reviewed were screened at Festival Central (Arts Picturehouse, Cambridge)

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Catching up with Kristin - and her venerable ma

More views of - or before - Cambridge Film Festival 2017 (19 to 26 October)
(Click here to go directly to the Festival web-site)



26 June






Unless stated otherwise, all films reviewed were screened at Festival Central (Arts Picturehouse, Cambridge)

Sunday, 25 June 2017

Time Takes its Time* : Poised to perfection

More views of - or before - Cambridge Film Festival 2017 (19 to 26 October)
(Click here to go directly to the Festival web-site)


A review, by Tweet and in other text, of John Lill's recital at Thaxted Festival, on Saturday 24 June 2017 at 7.00 p.m., is now accreting here...

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[...]



[...]


End-notes :

* The title of a song, by Jacqui Dankworth, from her album Detour Ahead in 2004. In a review in The Guardian (where it was Jazz CD of the Week on 30 May), the song is described thus :

She imparts a mesmeric stillness to her own piece 'Time Takes its Time', and her straightforward 'On the Street Where You Live' is the best jazz version I have heard.




Unless stated otherwise, all films reviewed were screened at Festival Central (Arts Picturehouse, Cambridge)

Friday, 23 June 2017

Thirty-two years on, My Beautiful Laundrette (1985)

More views of - or before - Cambridge Film Festival 2017 (19 to 26 October)
(Click here to go directly to the Festival web-site)


22 June


Daniel Day-Lewis (Johnny) and Gordon Warnecke (Omar)








Unless stated otherwise, all films reviewed were screened at Festival Central (Arts Picturehouse, Cambridge)

Marcel Duchamp and the signed, porcelain urinal called Fountain (1917)

More views of - or before - Cambridge Film Festival 2017 (19 to 26 October)
(Click here to go directly to the Festival web-site)



23 June





http://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/duchamp-fountain-t07573




Unless stated otherwise, all films reviewed were screened at Festival Central (Arts Picturehouse, Cambridge)

Friday, 16 June 2017

In gross, does music resemble Schumann's Davidbündlertänze ?

A first response to Pierre-Laurent Aimard's Aldeburgh Festival recital

More views of - or before - Cambridge Film Festival 2017 (19 to 26 October)
(Click here to go directly to the Festival web-site)


16 June

A performance-night response to Pierre-Laurent Aimard's intricate and exact steps around the theme of dance, and how movements work together, at Snape Maltings during Aldeburgh Festival on Friday 16 June 2017 at 7.30 p.m.













Lest we need repeat other comments about PLA's programming and playing, here is the #UCFF review from Aldeburgh Festival in 2014




Unless stated otherwise, all films reviewed were screened at Festival Central (Arts Picturehouse, Cambridge)

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Some Tweets and other text about My Cousin Rachel (2017) (work, once in progress)

Some Tweets and other text about My Cousin Rachel (2017)

More views of - or before - Cambridge Film Festival 2017 (19 to 26 October)
(Click here to go directly to the Festival web-site)


13 June

Some Tweets and other text about My Cousin Rachel (2017) (work, once in progress)











[…]







Unless stated otherwise, all films reviewed were screened at Festival Central (Arts Picturehouse, Cambridge)

Sunday, 28 May 2017

In time, yet out of time : The Tallis Scholars, filling the Minster with light and colour (work in progress)

More views of - or before - Cambridge Film Festival 2017 (19 to 26 October)
(Click here to go directly to the Festival web-site)



27 May

This is a response, largely by Tweet, to the programme Masterpieces of the Sixteenth Century, given by The Tallis Scholars under their director Peter Phillips during Beverley Early Music Festival*, in Beverley Minster on Saturday 27 May 2017 at 7.30 p.m. (work in progress)




[...]



End-notes :

* Properly called, Beverley and East Riding Music Festival.




Unless stated otherwise, all films reviewed were screened at Festival Central (Arts Picturehouse, Cambridge)

Saturday, 27 May 2017

In stilo moderno with The Castello Consort (uncorrected proof)

This is a review of The Castello Consort's concert at Beverley Early Music Festival*

More views of - or before - Cambridge Film Festival 2017 (19 to 26 October)
(Click here to go directly to the Festival web-site)


27 May

This is a review of a lunch-time concert given by The Castello Consort, during Beverley Early Music Festival* and under the title Laudate !, at Toll Gavel United Church, Beverley, on Saturday 27 May 2017 at 1.00 p.m. (uncorrected proof)


We were to hear several pieces by Adam Jarzębski, and the first, his (1) Küstrinella à 3 (soprano e due bastarda) helped serve to make us familiar with the sound-world of The Castello Consort [the link is to recordings, on their web-site], an ensemble that comprises (when they do not incorporate other players / singers) :

* Matthijs van der Moolen ~ sackbut

* Elise van der Wel ~ violin

* Anne-Linde Visser ~ violoncino

* Henriëtte Wirth ~ chamber organ



Programme :

2. Giovanni Paolo Cima (c. 1570–1630) ~ Sonata à 2 (violino e violone) (from Concerti ecclesiastici)

3. Cima ~ Vulnerasti cor meum à 3 (Song of Solomon 4 : 9) (from Concerti ecclesiastici)

4. Francesco Rognoni Taeggio (?? –1626) (after Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina (1525/26–1594)) ~ Pulchra es amica mea (alla bastarda) (Song of Solomon 6 : 4)

5. Dario Castello (c. 1590 – c. 1658) ~ Sonata quinta à 2 (violino e violeta) (from Sonate concertate in stil moderno, Book II)

6. Jarzębski (?? -1648/49) ~ Concerto primo à 2 (soprano e bastarda) (from Canzoni e concerti)

7. Claudio Monteverdi (1567–1643) ~ Laudate Dominum (Psalm 150) (from Selva morale e spirituale)

8. Jarzębski ~ Cantate Joh. Gabrielis à 2 (soprano e bastarda) (after Giovanni Gabrieli (c. 1554/57–1612)) (from Canzoni e concerti)

9. Cantate Domino (per il trombone alla bastarda) (also after Gabrieli) ~ van der Moolen (1994–)

10. Canzon à 2, ‘La pichi’ (violino e trombone) (from Divine lodi musicali, Book III) ~ Biagio Marini (1594–1663)

11. Variata per il violino (from Sonate, symphonie, canzoni) ~ Marini

12. Sonata sesta à 2 (violino e trombone) (from Sonate concertate in stil moderno, Book I) ~ Castello

13. Canzon à 2, ‘La guaralda’, per il Deo gratias (violino e trombone) ~ P. A. Mariani (active until 1622)


[...]


Both an introduction in person by Matthijs van der Moolen at this point**, and his very full programme-notes, told us here about the types and styles of pieces, as well as some of the instruments, such as the violoncino (referred to in the titles of various pieces as a bastarda, as not quite a viol, but not quite a cello) : (2) played by Anne-Linde Visser, we could hear how, with a very similar shape to a (baroque) cello, it had the same resonance, and was also supported between the calves, but had a different tone-colour. In this Sonata, the violin also had the intonation that we could hear in the playing of the sackbut.

With sympathetic organ continuo from Henriëtte Wirth, the opening of (3) the second piece by Cima played with sackbut alone, at the start, and then the other instruments came in, and out – sounding, then falling silent. The tone of the piece was not exactly serious as such (i.e. certainly not tragic), but it was a quietly wistful one, and – particularly as between the instrumentalists – it was clear that the consort is respectful and responsive.

As the programme-notes told us, (4) this item by Taeggio was a diminution piece for violoncino (which took Palestrina as its basis, with his five-part motet performed on the organ) : in some parts (more than others), there was an improvised quality to it, and – hearing from him afterwards – van der Moolen confirmed that much of what he had been playing, on the sackbut, is not ‘written out’. (However, the score gives an outline of the structure – as, one suggested, a ‘chart’ might in jazz.) At the conclusion, there was the impression of the virtuosic, or of something ‘in fantastic style’ (stilo fantastico), since, after all, this is music from the Baroque era.


(5) The first work by Castello initially conveyed rusticity (and this impression was to re-emerge later). Afterwards, van der Moolen said that ‘stilo moderno’ is not what Claudio Monteverdi was referring to (for the voice) by segunda practica, and so it was agreed that, at the very least, such a title made the piece sound new, and so could be / have been ‘a selling-point’.

Although it was an undivided Sonata (not in the later sense of the word), it fell into distinct sections, and in varying configurations : thus, we moved from solo violin, to adding organ continuo, to the violoncino adding in and the violin dropping out. In a section that employed the trio of instruments, we heard the first of several cæsuræ, which introduced a change of tempo. Although the Sonata does not literally end quietly, then it does so thoughtfully.


Before (6) a second composition by Jarzębski, Matthijs van der Moolen apologized for ‘the extra tuning’, which he explained was necessitated by the high temperature on the day. Between Elise van der Wel on violin and him, it was not so much call and response, or hearing echoes, but more like interplay (again, a little as with jazz, and, say, a trumpeter and a saxophonist at the front of a quintet, and swapping phrases ?). This piece was another with a thoughtful close.

Monteverdi’s (7) Laudate dominum was performed by sackbut, violoncino and organ, but with the first as the principal – and highly celebratory – instrument, and van der Moolen standing next to Anne-Linde Visser, better, one guesses, to gauge the sonority of the ensemble. The organ underpins the work, and the violincino gives variety to the rhythmicity. In Visser’s playing, we perceived the effect of a Chaconne, and also, over sections that had longer, held notes, exploratory and vivid passages on the sackbut, and more cæsuræ.

(8) The final composition by Jarzębski that we heard displayed the inter-dependency of the voices (a trio of violino, violoncino, and organ), and held notes and diminutions on violin. Later, there were mimetic responses between the stringed instruments, or apportioned alternations of playing, before they sounded together, polyphonically.


(9) This was the only contemporary composition (by van der Moolen, also modelling Gabrieli), and, although he was necessarily to the fore, he also prominently employed Visser’s very low register on the violoncino. As an experiment, if he had not made us aware, might we have been unaware – from the idiomatic writing – when the work dated to (as it is unclear from the programme what material by Gabrieli he is using as a basis, whether the work dated to the late-sixteenth or early-seventeenth century, or was the work of a later, older composer) ? (Maybe just that, on violin and violoncino, the notes were held for so long, and because the sackbut sounded more out of measure, perhaps even jazzy.)


We learnt that, contrary to the programme, this was not (10) a piece by [Giovanni Battista] Riccio (1570-??), but (as with the next one) by Biagio Marini, and also that it is really an organ piece, accompanied by sackbut and violin. However, as was chatted over with Henriëtte Wirth later*** (amongst other things, from how to sound Gesualdo’s vocal dissonances to the mechanics of the organ), one listens differently when given such information. So it meant that one was aware that the role of sackbut and violin was providing adornments to Wirth’s agile principal performance (but would one otherwise have appreciated the fact ?).

As has now been established (from the Internet), the programme did not make clear [perhaps in more than this case ?] that this item was (11) a movement taken from Marini’s Sonata terza (1626), which perhaps made it more difficult to know – aurally – what one was listening to (please see the remarks above). Likewise, as van der Moolen observed beforehand, he had (unnoticed, and preceding the last piece) opened the front-doors of the chamber-organ (which he was now closing***). As one saw Wirth taking a cue from Elise van der Wel (violin) at the start, this was the first music that seemed familiar (was it from one of [ ] La Serenissima’s programmes – or one by [ ] The Academy of Ancient Music ?). In any case, van der Wel’s articulation was perfect, with especial facility in the writing that was less legato, and well adapted (more so than we) to varying modes of playing and their affects.

(12) The second item by Castello was quite different (and without the violincino), and seemed to offer diverse interpretative choices. Yet, as well as being different, it had very differing sections within the piece (as with that by Claudio Monteverdi), and put one a little bit in mind of [Heinrich Ignaz Franz von] Biber. With (13) the work by Mariani (not, obviously, to be confused with Marini), we were back to our first themes of resemblance to human voices and, where they were previously being heard, the music of the church, about the latter of which van der Moolen was explicit, by pointing out that it was said to be ‘per il deo’. Here, there were also changes of tempo, but they were less significant than those of dynamic and tone.


This was an impressive UK debut by a bright and receptive quartet of players, bringing us a curated choice of music that helped us understand the repertoire that is at the core of their interests, and how Sonate and Concerti developed as instrumental settings within the church, and then outside.


End-notes :

* Properly called, Beverley and East Riding Music Festival.

** Which informed us that Lauda Jerusalem à 3 was being omitted from the programme, as it had been found to be too long for it.

*** In the Minster, during the interval of The Tallis Scholars’ concert that night [of which a Tweet-based account is in progress]. When talking, one thing that arose – as a question from Henriëtte about the nature of what one hears – was the audibility / carry (in the space) of the organ in relation to whether the ensemble ought to have had the doors all the time (as so some there had apparently seemed to believe, when heard from afterwards).

(That said, and obviously not unkindly meant, but loss of higher-frequency hearing tends to be a feature of ageing, and the upper and sometimes delicate sounds of the upper pipes would therefore benefit from the chance to be better heard : it is typical, amongst the members of audiences at early-music events (and, here, evident from Friday night to Monday afternoon), that most are a decade or so older than even many performers (yet alone a generation or more than these newcomers ?).



Unless stated otherwise, all films reviewed were screened at Festival Central (Arts Picturehouse, Cambridge)