We are a flexible ensemble, capable of performing as a trio or of calling on further players of renaissance winds, brass and percussion to provide a richer sound for grand occasions. As well as concert performances we also play for other events and functions such as historical fairs and banquets, weddings etc. Please use the Contact Us page if you’d like to find out more.
England Be Glad: Music for the Tudor Monarchs
Morton, Dowland, Gibbons and Fayrfax
The Tudor Monarchs from Henry VII to Elizabeth I reigned over a flowering of English culture. They brought a relative stability that allowed the arts to flourish and and were active both as patrons of the finest professional music making and as musicians themselves. Their courts resounded to the sound of constant music making of the highest quality, with the wind band at the heart of it all providing music for grand and intimate occasions. They were also at the forefront of the development of new styles and forms and the use of the latest inventions in the field of instrument making.
Bon jour, bon mois: Music for a New Year
Machaut, Dufay, Binchois, Cordier and Solage
Renaissance wind band Blondel presents a programme built around a selection of chansons written as New Year’s gifts. It features music from 14th and 15th century channsoniers by Machaut, Solage, Dufay & Morton and dances from the Burgundian Court performed on shawms, recorders, bagpipes and percussion.
A History of Dance in Music
From Gace Brulé (c.1205) via Margaret of Austria’s dance book (c.1510), Henry Vlll (c.1535), William Byrd (c1630), Playford’s Dancing Master (1651) and many anonymous masters along the way, Blondel trace the History of Dance in Music.
Enjoy the foot-tapping rhythms and the rich sound world of shawms, recorders, sackbuts, lutes, drums, curtals and bagpipes in this fascinating journey of ‘Strictly – Medieval to Renaissance’
Gaudete! The Christmas Story
Four centuries of music celebrating advent, Christmas and the Twelfth Night: rousing wassails, gentle lullabies and exuberant carols—chansons, motets and hymns by de la Halle, Busnois and Praetorius consort with familiar old English carols and dances.
L’Homme Armé: Music from the court of Charles the Bold
Morton, Caron, and Charles the Bold; music from the Cancionero de Palacio and the Glogauer Liederbuch
Charles the Bold was an austere, pious, and cultured man. He was also belligerent, pitiless and obstinate—qualities which ultimately lead to his grisly and untimely death. We have based this programme around the surviving works of Robert Morton, a highly regarded Englishman employed at Duke’s court. As well as including works by his Burgundian contemporaries we have taken his spurious works as a point of departure and explored the contents of the manuscripts in which they are found, resulting in a fascinating snapshot of musical life in late 15th century Europe.
An invitation to a celebration of the joys of summer as seen through the eyes of renaissance lovers, from the humblest goat-herd to the noblest of kings.
Hear songs and dances from across Europe performed on shawms, recorders, curtals and bagpipes, and lose yourself in sounds of midsummer revels from the courts and towns of a bygone era.
Owre Kynge went forth: A life of Henry V in Music
Includes readings by Peter Hamilton Dyer
A programme which follows the life of Henry V in music, from his carefree youth, his accession to the throne in 1413, the Battle of Agincourt and his marriage to Catherine of Valois. The programme includes irresistible dances, compelling love songs, a motet composed for his wedding and of course the famous Agincourt Carol itself.
I Wear My Hat Askew: Music of the Flemish Renaissance
from Dufay and Machaut to Josquin and Obrecht
Between the 14th and the 17th centuries the Netherlands experienced a Golden Age of relative political stability and prosperity during which the arts flourished and became a Europe-wide cultural export. Composers such as Dufay, Obrecht and Josquin wrote sophisticated polyphonic music for use in both the church and in the courts and grand household of their time, much of which is ideally suited to and would have been performed by wind ensembles.
Courts and grand households across Europe employed musicians to entertain at ceremonial events as a symbol of their prestige. Professional wind players were at the top of the pecking order and would have been expected to play on a wide range of instruments, the foremost of which were the double-reeded shawms.