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Hot Henry

img  Tobias

It's a strange comeback to be sure, but Henry VIII of England has returned to the throne of the arts scene - a position he last held about 450 years ago.

There's a good reason, why this former king continues to inspire: During his reign, he upgraded the royal ensemble "The Kings Musick" from an already impressive 16 to a mighty 60 salaried musicians and employed two of the age's finest composers, William Cornyshe and Robert Fayrfax. Apparently, he was also a more than decent instrumentalist himself, owning 79 recorders, as well as acting as an occasional composer. Some sources even credit him with the theme to "Greensleeves".
It also helped cement his reputation, of course, that he was a passionate, sanguine and often overly rash man - William had two of his wives executed! There have been loads of movies depicting his life, many available on DVD (check out the production with Ray Winstone and Helena Bonham-Carter for example). But to get a real picture ofthe man, the best idea might be to look at the music. There's two ways to do this.
First of all, there's a new CD by the Ensemble Dreiklang from Berlin. Derived from their popular program "Pastyme with good companye", the album of the same title delves deep into the courtly world, painting a vivid picture on the listener's mind.
And then, you can find out even more by joining the Capella Antiqua Bambergensis on the 22nd and 23rd of October, when they'll be hosting a whole evening of tunes and tales from the era - next to playing, the ensemble will also be serving some stories from Henry's life. Most recommended, this takes place once again at beautiful castle Wernsdorf near Bamberg.

We doubt that his reign will last quite that long, so you might want to check out these wonderful propositions now - before having to wait another 450 years.

Homepage: Ensemble Dreiklang
Homepage: Capella Antiqua Bambergensis
Source: Koeln Klavier

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