Concert archive

15-08-2015 - THE PLEASURE GARDENS - A Live Programme Notes concert

It is a always a delight to welcome back our engaging, Norwich-born music historian, Simon Heighes, to guide us and you through the evening. The trio of Simon, Jayne May-Sysum (soprano) and our director Jim O'Toole has developed its own chemistry. if you missed this one, do try to come next year... April 15th is the date to get into your diary.
Saturday 15th August - The Pleasure Gardens
Live Programme notes - Dr Simon Heighes
Soprano - Jayne May-Sysum
Director - Jim O'Toole

GEORGE FRIDERIC HANDEL (1685-1759) Music for the Royal Fireworks (1749) Overture

THOMAS CHILCOT (c1700-1766) ‘Orpheus with his Lute’ (1743) – words from Shakespeare’s Henry VIII

THOMAS ARNE (1710-1778) ‘Where the Bee Sucks’ (1746) – words from Shakespeare’s The Tempest

GEORGE FRIDERIC HANDEL Music for the Royal Fireworks (1749) Suite
Bourrée – La paix – La Réjouissance – Menuet I – Menuet II

PHILIP HAYES (1738-1797) ‘The Highland Laddie’ (1771) (first modern performance)

JAMES HOOK (1746-1827) ‘The Lass of Richmond Hill’ (1789)

GEORGE FRIDERIC HANDEL Zadok the Priest (1727) (Pleasure Gardens version – first modern performance)

GEORGE FRIDERIC HANDEL- ‘Arrival of the Queen of Sheba’ (from Solomon, 1749)

JAMES HOOK - ‘Blest hero’ (from The Sultan, or A Peep into the Seraglio, 1782)

ANTONIO VIVALDI (1678-1741) - Violin Concerto ‘The Cuckoo’ RV 335

WILLIAM SHIELD (1748-1829) - ‘The Milkmaid’ (from The Farmer, 1787)

THOMAS ARNE - ‘The Miller of Dee’ (from Love in a Village, 1763)

RICHARD CHARKE (d.1737) - Medley Overture (from Harlequin Restor’d, 1732)

EASTERN DAILY PRESS REVIEW - Cheerful and bright concert

Bright and cheerful, good-humoured and tuneful, this concert by Norwich Baroque echoed the music that 18th Century audiences enjoyed when on summer evenings they went to the pleasure gardens in London, Norwich and other cities.

So, after Handel's Royal Fireworks as an overture, soprano Jayne May-Sysum sang, skilfully putting character into favourites such as "where the bee sucks" by Thomas Arne and "the Lass of Richmond Hill" by James Hook.

She also showed him trying the grand manner in "Blest Hero". Her crisp rhythms were just right in Philip Hayes "Highland Laddie", a Scottish song of the sort much in vogue, and she was pert and knowing as she told the tale of "the Miller of Dee".

The musicologist and radio 3 broadcaster Dr. Simon Heighes was witty in his informative commentaries. With Chris Hartland adding fresh tone with oboe and recorders, Jim O'Toole's strings were bright and responsive in lively performances of a Vivaldi concerto, a surprisingly effective mini-Zadok and Richard Charke's Medley Overture that stretched from nursery rhymes to the National Anthem.

Christopher Smith.