Volunteer Ali Rowlands discovers there is far more to recorder music than she had ever previously suspected!
The concert, generously given in aid of Emmaus Bristol by the Blockflute Band and Bristowe Consort, took place in the retail area at Barton Manor. The audience were comfortably seated in the 3 piece suites which had been on sale earlier in the day and were now arranged in concentric rows, expectantly facing a group of about 20 musicians. Having (more or less) mastered the descant recorder at school, I was amazed at the range of shapes and sizes of recorder on view, from diminutive sopranino to higher-than-head-height contrabass. After a brief introduction from Dick Little, the Band’s conductor, we were treated to a fascinating variety of musical periods and styles, ranging from medieval tunes from the 12th century, through works from the 16th and 17th century, to seductive tangos and a quirky composition representing life in a Public Hospital (complete with ambulance siren!) The versatility of players and the quality of the sound they produced was a revelation to those in the audience who associated recorders with “Grass so green” and discordant squeaks! The experience was complemented by bravura performances from Jacob Warn and Naomi Bullivant, both members of the National Youth Recorder Orchestra – and by the excellent refreshments provided by the Companions, including contrabass-sized slices of cake prepared by self-taught Companion chef Terry.
The evening raised over £400 and we hope that many in the audience who were visiting Barton Manor for the first time will be back to enjoy the friendly atmosphere and find a bargain!
Thanks to all who helped to make the evening such a success.