Theatre of the Ayre - The Masque of Moments - BBC Radio 3 'Record Review'
11 March 2017BBC Radio 3 'Record Review'
...first though, let's put on our finest weekend apparel and dancing shoes, and head for central London, and the banqueting houses of Whitehall in the 17th century, where masques were the most extravagant form of entertainment, with composers and performers vying with each other to produce the most colourful and virtuosic display pieces...the 'ayres' at the heart of the masque. This is the performing tradition celebrated in this new recording from lutenist Elizabeth Kenny's ensemble Theatre of the Ayre (spelled a-y-r-e, of course), and with the help of singers Sophie Daneman, Rosanna Wicks, William Purefoy, Nicholas Mulroy and Giles Underwood, and Salisbury Cathedral Choir, they've designed a composite entertainment of their own. It had me under its spell almost immediately...so let's see whether it has the same effect on you...if we take it from the top, we've a couple of numbers by Anon: 'Lord Zouche's Maske' and 'The Earl of Essex Measure'...then songs from masques by Thomas Campion, Giovanni Coperario, Alfonso Ferrabosco, Robert Bateman and Robert Johnson. No more from me...take it away Theatre of the Ayre.
Related LinksElizabeth KennyTheatre of the AyreThe Masque of Moments