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Celebration of music Cromwell tried to ban

Monday, January 11, 2016 - 10:00

PASSAMEZZO is established as a leader in performance of historically informed music of the 16th and 17th centuries and performed at Wolverton Manor on New Year’s Eve with a programme entitled Old Christmas Returned.
The theme was the suppression of Christmas song and dance (and other festive activities) during the Cromwellian period, making illegal traditional seasonal merrymaking.
The company of singers and players brilliantly evoked this tumultuous period of English history, sandwiching Puritan ranting between festive, loving and devotional music and pointing out how ineffectual was suppression of joy.
Robin Jeffrey and Richard Mackenzie, new to Wolverton, were outstanding lutenists. Michael Palmer, actor/singer anchor-man, was both funny and terrifying with William Prynne’s 1659 anti-festive diatribe.
Eleanor Cramer was moving in her beautiful performance of angelic songs. Tamsin directed, playing the Renaissance violin effectively.
At the end of the programme, she led the musicians in Playford’s Wolverton Hall, a dance fittingly from the Restoration period and perhaps first performed here, with the audience participating.

 


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