The Ministry of Angels   /   The Society of Strange and Ancient Instruments

at the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester, England / 8.12.2012 |
Broadcast on BBC Radio 3 "Early Music Show" / 23.12.2012, 13:00

I.   [7:14]
0:00  Es sungen drei Engel  /  traditional   CD #13
2:04  Nuin poder deste mundo  /  Alfonso X el Sabio   CSM  165
3:28  Blessed that be maid Marie  /  traditional   CD #12   (instrumental in the CD)

II.  [8:41]
0:00  Belle qui tiens ma vie  /  Thoinot Arbeau   CD #10
4:17  Rondeau  /  François Francœur   CD #11

III.  [6:16]
0:00  Joseph and the angel  /  traditional   CD #9
2:14  Christmas cheer  /  John Playford   CD #9
4:10  Doves vagary  /  John Playford   CD #5

IV.  [11:23]
0:00  A solis ortus cardine  /  sarum chant   CD #8
    +    Angelus admonebit Abacue prophetam  /  The Play of Daniel   CD #15
6:47  En tamanna coita non pode seer  /  Alfonso X el Sabio   CSM  131   CD #15

V.  [5:01]
0:00  La Follia  /  Arcangelo Corelli   CD #7

VI.  [10:47]
0:00  Devil stick the Minister  /  traditional   CD #2
1:26  The Devil’s Dream  /  traditional   CD #3
2:53  Con seu ben sempre ven  /  Alfonso X el Sabio   CSM  115
7:28  Guillo, pran ton tamborin!  /  traditional   CD #1
    +    Pease Brawle  /  traditional   CD #1
    +    Candlestick Brawle  /  traditional   CD #1

Clara Sanabras — voice, oud, Renaissance guitar, oud
Clare Salamanhurdy gurdy, nyckelharpa, hardanger violin
Joy Smithharps, percussion
Peter McCarthybasses

Lucie Skeaping presents highlights from a concert performed by The Society of Strange & Ancient Instruments, featuring everything from dulcimer and oud to nyckelharpa and Hardanger fiddle, recorded earlier this month at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester.

Angels have played a part in human consciousness for as long as we can remember. Their roles in the life of mankind are various; they appear as guardians, counsellors, guides, judges, and interpreters and cross barriers of culture, language, religion and geography. Many are a force for good but there are also fallen angels, angels of death and others who are spirits of wrath, destruction, confusion and vengeance.

In this programme, The Society of Strange and Ancient Instruments explores music associated with angels, the maverick and fallen as well as the divine and perfect. Playing some of the instruments that appear in descriptions and depictions of angels through the ages, as well as other strange and ethereal sounding instruments, we present traditional tunes, dances, songs and carols in a celebration of these heavenly and occasionally diabolical beings.

The Society of Strange and Ancient Instruments
In the years around 1900, a group of well known musicians, calling themselves La Société des Instruments Anciens, gave a series of ‘historical performances’ in Paris in which they presented an eclectic mix of original and arranged baroque music, played on a collection of what were then considered to be wildly exotic instruments; hurdy gurdy, viola d’amore, viola da gamba and harpsichord. Taking inspiration from these pioneering ancestors, The Society of Strange and Ancient Instruments was founded in 2010 to explore, with similarly unusual instruments, a repertoire that ranges from bawdy ballads and earthy dances to high art music from the 18th century and before, as well as newly composed pieces. The members of The Society are all leaders in the field of early music with many years of performing and recording experience.