As a Tudor history buff, I do like to get out and experience the Tudor world. So I was pleased to be able to attend a very entertaining classical music concert a few weeks ago, featuring a counter-tenor singing 16th and 17th century songs in a Tudor-era priory. Then last week I had the opportunity to see a very talented international harpist playing music from the 16th through 19th centuries in beautiful old village church.
Both performers gave illuminating short talks between each piece, covering the historical background, a bit about the composers, and telling us how the songs came to be written. The counter-tenor introduced several of his songs by telling us that although these were the popular pieces of the day, the establishment of the time may have thought them a little risqué. He also pointed out that as we were in a 16th century hall (preserved in all its Tudor glory), there was every chance that the songs we were hearing could actually have been performed in this very place over 400 years ago. It sent a shiver down my spine to think that I was being treated to a very similar experience to the one our Tudor ancestors would have enjoyed – hearing the same music in pretty much the same environment. OK, maybe not my ancestors, as they would have been too busy ploughing fields in Poland at the time – but you get the point.
This then got me thinking. [More]