“The Longslade Consort is a small group of musicians dedicated to bringing the highest standards of small consort music to the widest possible audience. Members of the group have performed on local radio, in nineteen Cathedrals, stately homes and numerous Parish Churches. They have also devised many Baroque dinners with 18thC food and music. The group has performed in the Barbican foyer, at the Edinburgh and Glasgow Early Music Festival Fringes and has appeared several times at the International Music Festival at Sidmouth. They make regular appearances at the annual Leicester Castle Park Festival. They are particularly noted for their lighthearted introduction to the World of Early Music.
The Longslade Consort's collection of early musical instruments includes a set of Renaissance recorders, crumhorns, cornamuse, gemshorn, rauschpfeife, rackett, shawm, sordune, spinet, harpsichord, viol da gamba, an assortment of percussion including nakers and timbrel and a vast number of Baroque recorders. Apart from the recorders, most were made by the group's Director, John Bence. The woodwind are mostly based on originals in the Brussels' Collection and the spinet is a copy of an early 18th century original in a private collection.
The group's first CD - "Music from the Mists of Time" is a lighthearted look at the World of Early Music with a wide-ranging selection of instruments from the Consort's collection, coupled with some great pieces from the Baroque, featuring Handel, Scarlatti and Telemann. A second CD, "A Window to the Past," presents a further selection of music from the group's vast repertoire.
"The members of the consort are remarkably versatile and accomplished musicians adept at performing on all manner of early instruments - many of which were made by John Bence, the group’s founder.” Leicester Mercury, August 2007.
"The second half concentrated on the Baroque with works by Vivaldi, Handel and Loeillet, all stylishly played by the Consort. John Bence, the Consort’s founder and director, introduced the music with his customary mixture of wit and erudition.” Leicester Mercury August 2008 - Neil Crutchley
"With informative narration by John Bence, this was an absorbing musical and educational experience. This concert was entertaining, informative, displayed fine musicianship and ably demonstrated some of the Genius of the Baroque composers. " Leicester Mercury 2011.”
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