The programme for the Beverley and East Riding Early Music Festival has been announced.
This year’s theme is Passion - for life, for the countryside, for religion, for lovers and for music – a joyous celebration, bringing together old friends and new in the county town.
Artists and performers from the UK and beyond will be in the town for concerts, workshops, walks and talks taking place in Beverley’s churches and on its streets from Friday May 24 to Saturday May 26.
Festival director Delma Tomlin said: “It’s always a joy to return to the beautiful town of Beverley for this annual celebration of early music.
"This year’s festival is all about passion – and we’re sure that these concerts will inspire and thrill you. As well as an array of world class concerts, we’ll be offering musical workshops and talks, plus the fascinating Ballad Walks bringing the streets of Beverley to life and revealing its history through music and song.”
This year’s highlights include:
Joglaresa, The Virgin Queen: St Mary’s Church, North Bar Within, Beverley, May 24, 7.30pm
A passionate and curious tale of wild romance intertwined with melody and song drawn from the shadows of the Byzantine Empire through to Medieval Europe. This exuberant medieval/folk music ensemble’s line up is: Belinda Sykes, voice and bagpipes; Angela Hicks, voice and harp; Elisabeth Flett, fidel, recorder, voice; Louise Anna Duggan, dulcimer, percussion, voice; and Sally Pomme Clayton, storyteller.
Block4, Stargazing,St Mary’s Church, North Bar Within, Beverley, May 25,12.30pm,
A celebration of artists who have looked to the skies for inspiration, Block4 trace musical lines through the stars with instrumental and vocal work spanning seven centuries. This quartet of recorder musicians offer a captivating interpretation of music from the Renaissance and Baroque period.
The Tallis Scholars, directed by Peter Phillips, A Very English Passion, Beverley Minster, May 25, 7.30pm
Featuring some of the most heartfelt music to come from the English Renaissance, the programme draws together two very English styles separated by a hundred years. The Mass for Five Voices by William Byrd, renowned Catholic composer from the Elizabethan era, will be performed alongside Fawkyner’s rarely performed Gaude rosa and Fayrfax’s Maria plena virtute, from the Eton Choirbook – a volume of religious music created between 1500 and 1504.
Fitzwilliam String Quartet, Haydn String Quartet Op 51 Seven Last Words, St John’s RC Church, North Bar Without, Beverley, May 26, 3pm
Celebrating their 50th anniversary year, the quartet makes a welcome return to Beverley for a very special performance mixing the musical genius of Haydn with a series of short reflections written by Canon Peter Moger, Acting Dean of York Minster. The quartet have performed the piece in Cadiz, where the work was commissioned, and all over the world, in venues ranging from tiny churches to concert halls and cathedrals.
Cantoria, El Fuego, St James’s Church, Warter, May 27, 7pm
A flourish of fiery Iberian drama, drawing on music from the Renaissance and telling stories of desire and passion, taken from Spanish songbooks which reveal a colourful world of demons, saints and sinners. Performers are: Ines Alonso, soprano; Samuel Tapia, countertenor; Jorge Losana, tenor and Valentin Miralles, bass.
The festival also features an exciting programme of workshops, walks and talks including:
The Ballad Walks, two different walks led by singer Vivien Ellis and a local guide, which take you through the past 800 years of Beverley’s sometimes murky history and turbulent past, telling the stories of fascinating local characters.
It All Happened in Beverley, meet outside the Beverley Arms Hotel, May 25, 4pm
To Beverley We Must Go, meet outside the Beverley Arms Hotel, May, 26 10.30am
Revising Pevsner, Dr Jane Grenville gives an illustrated talk about her journey across the North Riding of Yorkshire as she revises Pevsner’s series. As well as discussing his passion for architecture she will be sharing some of the musical highlights she discovered along the way. Here event is at St John of Beverley RC Church, 5 North Bar Without. on May 25 at 4pm.
01904 658338 or tickets.ncem.co.uk
In person: NCEM Box Office, St Margaret’s Church, Walmgate, York and Beverley Tourist Information Centre, East Riding Treasure House.