Quodlibet is available for both public concerts and private functions. The group’s musical versatility and large repertoire allow it to provide tailor-made programmes for many occasions – everything from Elizabethan feasts to Romany funerals, and of course church concerts, wedding services, and celebratory dinners.
Performances can focus on one musical style, or include pick-and-mix elements from different eras and musical genres. They can also include the spoken word, such as poetry.
In addition to their strictly professional engagements, Quodlibet donates a proportion of its concerts to charity fund-raising events and restoration funds for churches or other needy historic buildings.
Themed programmes and events
As well as tailor-made concerts, the group has been developing themed events, some semi-dramatised and costumed.
Upstairs, Downstairs and in My Lady’s Chamber
(with recorder consort)
A fictional story about the effect the arrival of an Italian music master has on the Digges family who built Chilham Castle (Kent), and their servants. Set in 1616, the story is told in the music and poetry of the time.
This event has been performed three times in the Great Hall of the Castle, but would be equally at home in other grand houses of the period.
‘A lot of thought had obviously been put into devising the programme and selecting the pieces to be performed to be appropriate to the story. The singing was good, with some acting as well to give more atmosphere. It was a very interesting and entertaining evening in a special location: certainly something different to anything I have previously experienced!’ (Miriam Lewis, music blogger)
Dangerous Candlelight: The Forbidden Music
A candle-lit re-enactment of a gathering of Catholic recusants at a secret, musically rich Mass in 1622.
Performances have included Ingatestone Hall, Essex (where William Byrd was known to have been a regular visitor) and Chilham Castle.
‘I greatly enjoyed the programme at Ingatestone Hall. The music was beautifully sung and of course there was a great deal more to contemplate.’ (Francis Prest, audience member)
Mysterious Mr Morley’s Most Delicious Melancholy
A celebration of the life of Elizabethan composer and seeming double-agent Thomas Morley, presented in music and words.
‘Morley has largely been known for his cheerful madrigals and ballets, and songs like “It was a lover and his lass”. Most of his music, however, reflected what the programme title described as his ‘most delicious melancholy’. So the large audience was treated to an imaginatively presented and beautifully sung tribute to the great pupil of William Byrd … What a perfect blend Quodlibet achieve!
Apart from purely musical aspects of the performance, Dr Giles had written and interwoven a spoken dialogue primarily but not exclusively between Morley and Byrd. To present this more vividly, all the performers wore token sixteenth- century clothing, devised cleverly by Jane Farrell. Dr Giles bore an uncanny likeness to William Byrd, and the tenor Richard Pond was effective in the part of Thomas Morley, which also involved his playing the spinet.’ (Robert Scott for the Kentish Gazette)
The Tapestries of Time
(with Yules Noyse accordion band)
A vision, even fantasy, experienced in a church on the ancient Pilgrim’s Way to Canterbury. It involves a spoken part for The Time Traveller and music for voices and instruments from each period of the church’s long history, beginning in the 12th century and concluding in the 21st.
The event would be adaptable for any suitable mediaeval church, or maybe some other mediaeval building.
The Time Traveller begins the evening, announcing as he arrives, ‘I am the Time Traveller. I am come to take you to the past. But what is the past? It is the present. It is the future too, though I cannot allow you to glimpse that. You will reach it in earthly time … More The Tapestries of Time, some panels of which you are soon to experience, are something like earthly weavings, except that you will focus on them primarily through sound. But also they will come to you visually – if you allow it. Free yourselves from the solid world. Sensitise yourselves to the Spirit of Place – that which is inherent in these very stones, wood and brick; that which is integral with the earth, trees, grass and village spread beyond this little church. Let these opaque walls be translucent.’
What is our Life?
A philosophical contemplation expressed through music and words secular, sacred and spiritual.
Hearts on Fire
The anatomy of a love affair in music and poetry. We encounter the many and varied moods of romance – from serious and deeply intense via light-hearted to playful.
North and South
Tales of life told through English folksongs, sung by our full vocal ensemble through to solo voice.
Here, There, and Beyond the Stars
A journey in parallel times. Music and words reflect the traveller’s journey from afar to Canterbury Cathedral and way beyond….