Review: The York Waits at All Saints’ Church, King’s Lynn

The York Waits
The York Waits
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The popular and successful series of recitals and concerts held at All Saints Church, Hillington Square, King’s Lynn, continued with a very well attended event given by The York Waits and vocalist Deborah Catterall who also played recorder.

The other versatile musicians were Tim Bayley, Lizzie Gutteridge, Anna, Susan and William Marshall performed on a dazzling array of ancient instruments including Sackbuts, Shawms, Violin, Viola, Chalumeau, Rebec, Gittern, Guitar, Tabor Pipe, Bagpipes and, yes, you’ve guessed it, Rommelpot!

The music, ranging from the 13th to the 17th Centuries consisted of songs and carols (both in vocal and instrumental form) tracing the benevolent figure of Sire Christemass (originally simply a bearer of religious tidings), but who gradually was transformed over the centuries into the more familiar figure of Father Christmas.

Composers featured were Anthony Holborne (c.1545-1602), William Byrd (c.1540-1623) and plenty of anon and trad! I especially enjoyed the ‘Wassail’ items from Cries of London, but the concert made for a fascinating afternoon’s music making. Standards from all the instrumentalists and the singer, Deborah Catterall were extremely high.

We have certainly come a long way since the pioneering days of early music, with such figures as Alfred Deller and the greatly missed David Munrow (of ‘Pied Piper’ fame), leading the way, but it’s encouraging to see groups such as The York Waits have taken up the baton so effectively and can draw comparatively large audiences. ‘Goday’ and a ‘Merry Christemas’ to one and all!