Monday, 10 March 2014

And now for something completely different...

This blog site was initially launched to chat about the gardens and wildlife in the Byfield area. That remains its raison d'etre (raisins for eating) but occasionally some other topic forces itself on to the site.

On Saturday, 8 April I was fortunate enough to get an invitation from Lynda and Damien Moran to attend a performance by Boldwood, a folk group for whom their daughter Kate plays fiddle. The venue was in the chapel of The Queen's College, Oxford (the queen in question being Queen Philippa of Hainault). This genre of music is outside my usual range, with only the arrangements by Percy Grainger and Ralph Vaughan Williams being familiar to me, i.e pretty mainstream stuff. Boldwood have blown the dust from little-known and almost forgotten 17th and 18th centuries scores - and the material was delightful. As I say, I can speak with no expertise whatsoever, but the performances struck me as being of a very high standard.

The chapel is approached via a simple but most attractive quadrangle... 
See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil.   Left to right:
Chris, Ann and Lynda.

... peopled by learned historical figures engaged in animated and recondite conversation regarding Virgil's epic work "Marcus et Spensius".

The interior of the chapel, dating from 1819, is beautiful and seemed to have very good acoustics. I was much taken by the stained glass windows. As is usual they depicted biblical scenes - but with some whimsical touches.

Bother! Just when you need it,
there isn't a wishbone.

It seemed clear, for example, that the main course for the Last Supper was a nice, plump dog.

"Lord, you've forgotten your sandals."

The ascension into heaven was unexpectedly rapid, giving little time to pack...

Boldwood. 8 March, 2014

The interior was a little gloomy and I didn't want to employ flash.

All in all, a delightful day, with wall-to-wall sunshine throughout.

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