Blondel: Owre Kynge Went Forth

Blondel: Owre Kynge Went Forth

20th August 2023

Medieval & Renaissance band Blondel present:
Owre Kynge Went Forth - Henry V and the Battle of Agincourt - told in words and music

"A brilliant mix of authentic mediaeval music and well-chosen contemporary texts"

Blondel give engaging and spirited performances of Medieval and Renaissance wind music on shawms, bagpipes and recorders, fiddle and gittern. It is easy to imagine how the bold tones of a shawm band cut across the hustle and bustle of dance and banquet halls, or even a city square. More surprising to modern ears is the joyful and sophisticated beauty that results from this uniquely blended sound.

Originally funded by the Agincourt600 committee, and available as a free download from bandcamp, this programme features music which was nearly all composed (or at least written down) in the lifetime of Henry V of England (1387-1422). It divides into broad sections depicting various important stages in his life from his wild youth to his marriage to Catherine de Valois and the treaty following the battle of Agincourt. The texts are taken from three sources: Holinshed’s Chronicles, Shakespeare’s 'Henry V' and 'The Archer’s Story' by Esmond Knight, who played Fluellen in Laurence Olivier’s film of play. The spoken texts narrate the story of the battle, its build-up and aftermath from different points of view. The music chosen for each section either has a textual connection or illustrates the character of the particular scene through its compositional characteristics. Not to seem partisan, we feature music from both sides of the channel, since there were, in fact many close connections between the musical styles of the English, French and Burgundian courts. The music is all played instrumentally, keeping the narrative within the spoken text. You will hear from the Historical Chronicler, the King, the Storyteller (Shakespeare’s Chorus character) and a humble Archer, swept up by intoxicating political rhetoric to fight in France with Henry’s army.

Doors open 1.30pm, starts 2pm.
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