CONCERT REVIEW: Rich tapestry lets ageless works loose for a new life

DEEPINGS BLISS: Members of The Fenland Consort at Priory Church, Deeping St James. Pictured (from left) are Kathryn Such (flute), Terry Noble (violin), Brian Stout (glockenspiel), Judy Buijs (viola), John Hollins (flute and keyboard), Liz Atkins (double bass), Tom Parker (violin) and Henk Buijs (cello). Photo by John Marsh.

The Fenland Consort, Music at the Priory, Priory Church, Deeping St James

Two violinists, viola, double bass, cello, flute and keyboard players brought much-needed serenity to an audience at Priory Church, Deeping St James, on Sunday.

Just hours after the tragic events in London, Music at the Priory was a welcome place to put horrible news aside and bask in the sounds of Shostakovitch, Handel, Haydn and Wilhelm Friedrich Ernst Bach, eldest son of Johann Sebastian Bach.

At the heart of this musical oasis was The Fenland Consort, a seven-piece collection of string and woodwind players who perform under the motto of “Local Musicians in Local Churches”.

Sunday’s programme started with the familiar Waltz from Jazz Suite No. 2 by Dmitri Shostakovich, Russia’s “light and shade” composer, according to the group’s violinist Terry Noble.

Handel’s Trio Sonata was followed by the first of two works by the group’s keyboard and second flute player John Hollins, Danse MacJazz, based on Camille Saint-Saens “Danse Macabre”.

Other highlights were a sonata by Italian baroque composer Tomaso Albinoni, Haydn’s Trio in C major, a flute, violin, a double bass sonata by W.F. Bach and a quartet of Irish folk tunes by late English teacher and organist Alec Rowley.

Most intriguingly was a medley of traditional British Isles folk music, put together by John Hollins, that included “Early One Morning, “Bobby Shafto’s Gone to Sea”, “The Skye Boat Song” and “My Love is like a Red, Red Rose”.

In summary, The Fenland Consort provided an afternoon that the Rev Susan Paterson, Vicar of Priory Church, fittingly described as a “thoroughly delightful and varied programme of wonderfully played music”.

• The next Music at the Priory concert is with flute player Catherine Handley who will be accompanied by pianist Andrew Wilson-Dickson.

It takes place on Sunday, July 2, at 3pm and tickets priced £8 or £5 for children are available by calling 01778 343860 or emailing

Review by Winston Brown.

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