Musical Illuminations

Musical Illuminations - The Sixteen

Musical Illuminations - The Sixteen

With the hassle of buying tickets, hassle of gaining entry to an exhibition during the afternoon our tickets entitled us to, we double checked on the concert. Admission at 7pm, concert starts at 8-30pm. None of this information was on the tickets or the website, hence the reason for double checking.

Royal Manuscripts: The Genius of Illumination

Bitterly cold outside. We walked to Euston Station and ate at one of the excellent Indian restaurants in a side street around the back of Euston Station.

Bit of a rush but got back to the British Library to find people hanging around outside in subzero temperature. Why are you outside, we enquired? They will not let us in. We tried to get in, explained we had been told 7pm. But no, they would not let us in.

We had to remain outside in the cold, to be let in at 7-30pm, the time on the tickets. They could have let us in to the foyer, no further, but no.

When we did get in, a man came up to me and apologised. He said he was aware of the problems we had had earlier, was very sorry we had been given wrong information earlier, and gave me a CD of The Sixteen and asked would I please accept with his apologies. He also thanked me for bringing all the problems to their attentions and said the issues raised had gone up to the highest level. He explained they had never organised an exhibition before and they were learning, and again thanked me. I in turn, said the hassles to one side, the exhibition itself was excellent.

We had an hour before the concert to look around the exhibition. It sounds good, after hours access. Not good, it was very crowded. I did wander around, but could no longer remember what I had seen, what I had not seen, and was by now very, very tired.

There was music before The Sixteen, which I was told was very good, but I missed it. Francis Kelly (triple harp) and David Miller (baroque guitar and theorbo).

The Sixteen were excellent. We were literally sat at their feet. Any closer and we would have been with the performers.

The music chosen was of the period of the exhibition. Works by Richard Davy, Henry VIII and William Cornysh.

A very informal concert. People on the stairs, on surrounding balconies, sat on the floor. There was also a good age range of those there.

I learnt what unseated means. You do not get a seat. We were one of the lucky few who had seats.

One disappointment. When I saw The Sixteen last October at Guildford Cathedral, they had a little stall with their music on sale. I only purchased Victoria, as I was not familiar with their extensive catalogue. I had in mind what I wanted to buy. Sadly no stall. I can only assume no stall as it would have competed with the British Library shop.

The Sixteen will travel to Hong Kong for the start of an Asia-Pacific tour, to be followed by their Choral Pilgrimage 2012. The music for this has already been released on The Earth Resounds, music of Josquin, Brumel and Lassus, Available not only as a CD but also digital downloads. including lossless formats eg FLAC direct from the 96kHz/24-bit studio masters, but at a price. [see mp3 v FLAC]

The Sixteen are a small early music choral group founded by Harry Christopher with associated orchestra.

Royal Manuscripts: The Genius of Illumination an album of medieval and renaissance music by The Sixteen.

Royal Manuscripts: The Genius of Illumination an exhibition at the British Library of illuminated manuscripts.

Hail, Mother of the Redeemer
The Sixteen – Miserere Mei Deus – Allegri
St James Cathedral – Victoria – The Sixteen
G F Handel – The Sixteen

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