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Heavenly Noyse recreates the sounds of the most fashionable and sophisticated instrumental music of Shakespeare's time: the so-called'broken consort' of six instruments: violin, bass viol, flute, lute,cittern and  bandora. This music was associated with masques, royal festivities,and  the  theatre, and references and repertoire can be identified in plays such as  The Tempest, Twelfth Night, and Beaumont's The Knight of  the  Burning Pestle.

heavenly noyse BrokenConsort

The music, composed by Dowland, Morley, Alison, and other leading composers of the day,

consists of dances such as pavans and galliards and settings of ballad tune.

It playfully draws on the different timbres of instruments of different families; the gut strung violin and viol, the wire strung cittern and bandora and the soft tones of the renaissance flute, while the lute plays  virtuosic flourishes.

Our Programme presents the songs and music from these and other plays,and music associated with the leading cultural patrons of Shakespeare's time and concludes with a newly-identified setting of one of Feste's songs from Twelfth Night.

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The Amphion Consort after a concert at the National Portrait Gallery.

In the same room hangs a painting depicting the life of Sir Henry Unton, the only existing iconography for a broken consort in art from the period.

unton