S&H Exhibition Concert review

An Evening of Botanical Baroque Exhibition and Concert, Garden History Museum, London 1 September 2001 (PGW)

Musicians ever have been itinerant entertainers, performing wherever there is need. Nowadays even the great orchestras travel the world each summer, as do their listeners, who holiday at music festivals for variety of experience. Unusual live music venues fix in the memory events which otherwise might fade with time. During the Prom season, An Evening of Botanical Baroque at the Museum of Garden History at Lambeth Palace was not to be passed by.

'A Nurturing Nature - launching the National Gardens Schemes 75th Anniversary' is a fascinating exhibition which explores the social history of gardening and highlights the role and influence of the well supported Open Gardens Scheme over the last 75 years; it runs through to mid-December at the Museum, with associated lectures - 020 7401 8865.

Madrigals were sung at intervals by the Grove Choir outside in the candle-lit Tradescant Garden. Inside, Barbara Segal and her Contretemps/Chalemie School of Baroque Dance and Garden Design demonstrated formal, stylized dances of the same period as the great gardens of the time, when Dance Choreography linked closely with leadwork and garden parterre design. Costumed and bewigged gentlemen paid scrupulous attention to the correct mode of address, and the dancers took their turns singing French and English songs. William Tuck managed drum and tabor simultaneously, and Christopher Dance accompanied stylishly on the spinet.

For an equally intriguing London concert experience, hear the Choir of the Chapels Royal at the Tower of London - after the tourists have gone home, 3 & 5 December 2001, with full conducted tour and the ancient Ceremony of the Keys to finish (020 8458 2646 or 020 8781 9540).


Peter Grahame Woolf

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