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Having been to see the Fieri Consort sing at the start of the year and really enjoyed myself I was very pleasantly surprised to find that on a weekend that I would be holidaying in Dorset they would once again be performing nearby.

So, on Sunday evening I drove across to the picturesque seaside town of Swanage to hear the group perform another very different programme. Whilst the music was very different, the standard was just as impressive if not more so. When I heard them in St Martin in the Fields it was a programme of earlier music (Allegri, Tallis etc) This time they seemed to be more free with the programme and interspersed the age old music of Purcell, Byrd and others with music from more modern British composers, McMillan, Finzi & Britten.

This choice of music worked fantastically well and really showed of the depth of talent that British composers have demonstrated over the previous 400 years. The Highlight for me was the Purcell, which was a masterclass in harmony and suspense. No other composer since has been able to match his ability to raise the hair on the back of every audience members head although I also particularly enjoyed the way that the group managed to perform the Britten especially The Succession of the Four Sweet Months, which beautifully represented the passage of time seamlessly and displayed an incredible maturity within their musicianship. The piece is almost fugue like, with the sopranos starting followed by the altos then tenors and finally bases. Whilst each part has it’s own very distinct character and harmony. The group were able to make their own part enter clearly before blending with the rest of the sound in a way that was simply sublime.

What a lovely way to round off a short holiday. Thankyou again Fieri

Programme

Britten
Five Flower songs. To Daffodils

William Byrd
Though Amaryllis Dance
This Sweet and Merry Month of May

Henry Purcell
Hear My Prayer, O Lord

Robert Ramsey
When David Heard

Orlando Gibbons
The Silver Swan

James MacMillan
The Strathclyde Motets – Data est mihi omnis potestas (It has been given to me)

Cecilia McDowall
Three Latin Motets – 1 Ave Regina, 2 Ave Maria, 3 Regina Caeli

James MacMillan
The Strathclyde Motets – O Radiant Dawn

Benjamin Britten
Five Flower songs. The succession of the four sweet months

William Byrd
Laudibus in Sanctis

Thomas Weelkes
Hark, all ye lovely saints above
As Vesta Was

Gerald Finzi
7 Part songs – I have loved the flowers that fade, My spirit sang all day, Nightingales

William Byrd
Haec Dies

Benjamin Britten
Five Flower songs. The evening promise

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