Concert: Church Stretton Arts Festival

Date: Saturday 27 July 2013, 7.30 pm    Venue: Concord College, Acton Burnell near Shrewsbury, Shropshire

This programme of English music explores the background to the Gunpowder Plot.  Every year in the UK on the 5th November, bonfires and fireworks are lit in remembrance of an event that, had it gone ahead as planned, would have been the most serious act of terrorism the world had seen. The Plot was the attempt of a group of radical Catholics to blow up the Houses of Parliament and at the same time murder all but one of the Stuart royal family. Our story, with narration, starts with James I’s arrival in London, the welcome he and his family received and the difficulties they had coping with English polite society. The second half opens with the Catholic conspirators, their attempted plot and its aftermath. Music by the great composers of the day includes three different genres from the superlative William Byrd, masterful seven and eight-part pieces by Thomas Tomkins and Peter Philips plus a few ditties to remind us that life was not always so serious in the first decade of the 1600s!

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