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Treasures from the Baldwin Commonplace Book with Rory McCleery on 15th July 2023

July 15, 2023 @ 10:30 am - 5:00 pm

£20 – £25

Treasures from the Baldwin Commonplace book

John Baldwin (c.1560 – 1615) is one of the lesser-known but hugely important figures in the history of the music of Elizabethan England. A singer (at both St George’s Windsor and as a Gentleman of the Chapel Royal) and composer, Baldwin was also a professional music copyist responsible for My Ladye Nevells Booke, a compendium of William Byrd’s keyboard music, as well as the compilation or completion of a number of important manuscripts of vocal and consort music.

Chief among these is Baldwin’s idiosyncratic ‘Commonplace’ book – now housed in the British Library, it seems to be a repository for Baldwin’s personal favourite pieces, written out, unusually for the time, for the most part in score and without texts. Works by all of the great composers of the age – along with many by less familiar figures – can be found, as well as madrigals by Marenzio and historic pre-Reformation pieces.

We will be singing a selection of these, including masterpieces by Byrd (Tristitia et anxietas) and Tallis (Loquebantur variis linguis), fantastic pieces by William Mundy and Nathaniel Giles, a Marenzio madrigal and works by earlier composers, as well as something by Baldwin himself!

Rory McCleery is a popular Tutor whom we welcome back to MEMF. He is an award-winning Scottish conductor, countertenor & musicologist. Internationally renowned for his compelling interpretations of a wide range of repertoire, he is particularly associated with the choral music of the Renaissance and Baroque, and is also increasingly known for his affinity with the music of contemporary British composers. Rory has appeared at prestigious venues including the Wigmore Hall and BBC Proms and has directed choirs and led masterclasses, study days and workshops in the USA, Spain, Germany, France and Italy. He features regularly on radio and television, including the recent BBC2 series ‘Art That Made Us’.

Rory is Founder & Artistic Director of The Marian Consort, with whom he performs internationally, including a recent televised tour of Japan. Rory has an extensive discography with The Marian Consort on both Delphian and Linn Records, including many first recordings of both new and historic music which have garnered a variety of accolades and awards including the Diapason D’Or, Presto Classical Album of the Year and the Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik. When not researching and conducting, Rory is also active as a countertenor, performing as a soloist with ensembles including The Dunedin Consort, English Consort and Ensemble 1604.

Venue: The Coton Centre is on the A315 Comberford Rd on the north edge of Tamworth. The post code B79 9AA will take you to Rawlett school but if approaching from the north on the A513 it is on the left before the school and from any other direction is the next turning after the school. There is ample free parking on site.

Lifts are available  from the station which is 1 1/2 miles from the venue.

Refreshments are served from 10 am.

Booking is now open until 7th July.


Treasures from the Baldwin Commonplace Book with Rory McCleery on 15th July 2023


July 15, 2023
10:30 am - 5:00 pm
£20 – £25
Events Category:


Rory McCleery


Coton Centre, Tamworth
Church Comberford Road
Tamworth, B79 9AA United Kingdom

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