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.