The Sixteen at Christmas

The Sixteen at Christmas
Harry Christophers, Frances Kelly (
The Anvil, Basingstoke, 4 December 2019

As their 40th anniversary year draws to a close, The Sixteen’s seasonal tour of their ‘Sixteen at Christmas‘ programme stopped by at Basingstoke’s Anvil concert hall for a varied selection of music for Advent and Christmas. Their focus was on traditional medieval and 20th and 21st-century composers, most of the latter influenced by former. Until the Ding dong encore, it avoided all the usual carols of childhood memory. The key piece was the concluding Ceremony of Carols by Benjamin Britten, a sequence of pieces based on medieval texts that he started writing during a 1942 Atlantic crossing. Continue reading

Acqua Alta

Acqua Alta
Serikon, Erik Westberg
Footprint FRCD073. 79’30

Giovanni Gabrieli: Canzon X à 8, Canzon II á 4, Omnes gentes plaudite minibus; Andrea Gabrieli: Domine ne in furore; Claudio Merulo: Sanctus à 16; Alexander Campkin: Colour Blinds the Eye; Adrian Willaert: De profundis; Barbara Strozzi: Salve Regina; Dario Castello: Sonata Duodecima – Libro II; Giovanni Rovetta: Domine Deus noster; Jan Sandström: Acqua alta.

What a fascinating CD! With music ranging from the Renaissance, via the early Baroque to a composer born in 1984, the programme explores the musical colours of Venice and a none-too-subtle focus on its current environmental issues. Acqua Alta is a collaboration between the Renaissance ensemble Serikon, conductor Erik Westberg and the Artists for the Environment organization, and apparently also involves a meteorologist and climate specialist. With Venice flooding from rising sea levels with increasingly frequently and with higher water levels, it is an obvious city to focus on.   Continue reading