BREMF REVIEW: Music & Silence @St Pauls Church

November 6, 2018


Sunday, November 4, St Paul’s Church at 4pm

John Dowland at the court of Christian IV in Denmark.

Lux Musicae London

Roberta Diamond soprano
Daniel Thomson tenor
Mirjam-Luise Münzel recorders
Sophie Creaner recorders
Harry Buckoke viola da gamba
Aileen Henry harp
Toby Carr lute

Lux Musicae London took us into this literary inspired journey in to the court of King Christian’s court in early 17th-century Copenhagen. A lodestone for composers and virtuosi across Europe, including John Dowland, Tobias Hume, Irish harpist Cormacke Mcdermid, Praetorius and Scheidt.  They explored the music of the times with short readings from Rose Tremain’s bestselling novel Music & Silence which is set mostly at the same time as the music and centres around the King’s musical establishment as well as the colourful life of his court.

The narrative starts in 1629, a young English lutenist named Peter Claire arrives at the Danish Court to join King Christian IV’s Royal Orchestra. From the moment when he realises that the musicians perform in a freezing cellar underneath the royal apartments, Peter Claire understands that he’s come to a place where the opposing states of light and dark, good and evil, are waging war to the death.

Designated the King’s ‘Angel’ because of his good looks, he finds himself falling in love with the young woman who is the companion of the King’s adulterous and estranged wife, Kirsten. With his loyalties fatally divided between duty and passion, how can Peter Claire find the path that will realise his hopes and save his soul?

This was an engaging afternoons music enlivened with some furiously catchy Irish music from Turlough O’Carolan and possibly the best rendition of John Downland’s melancholy masterpiece flow my tears that I’ve heard in some time.

Lux Musicae are a confident group of performers who gently allowed us to relax and be taken away to a more romantic, but less easy time when passion and music flowed around Denmark and rip tides of the heart dragged people under the deep seas of loves possibilities. We were lulled by them in this Sunday afternoon concert of emotive bliss.

Full details of this concert can be seen on the BREMF website here: