Friday, 20 February 2009


In the winter there are regular musical events held in Helensburgh. I am one short block away from the Victoria Halls where the Helensburgh Music Society hold monthly concerts. And, may I say, they are extremely high calibre!

Take for example last week the February concert was by the Florilegium ensemble, a Baroque group playing on instruments of the period.

For me there were several highlights in the concert. One was discovering this chap below - Marin Marais, a French composer (1656-1728) engaged at the court of Louis XIV.

Marin Marais* attributed to André Bouys, c. 1704, Musée de l'Opéra, Paris

For this concert, the ensemble (who are a flexible number of players) were a quartet. The instruments featured were the viola de gamba (the one in the above photo), the harpsichord, Baroque violin and Baroque flute. The piece (and composer) I had never heard of was La Sonnerie de Sainte-Genevieve de Mont-de-Paris by Marais. I searched on U-tube and was delighted to find it here.

In doodling around looking at other U-tube videos I came up with this! As it happened the flute player this particular evening was Ashley Solomon and he talked about his Baroque flute. It was made by Rod Cameron, or as we used to call him, Roddy Cameron - a fellow who was a keen mountaineer and musician and went out to Vancouver the year before Iain.

Roddy has been making Baroque flutes for many years (California and Nairn, Scotland) so it was a blast from the past hearing Ashley talk of how he came to own his instrument.

And the meaning of Florilegium? From their website they say:

- The literal translation of Florilegium is 'a flourishing'.
- Florilegium is also known to have meant a Miscellany or Collection of things.
- There is also a famous Anthology of Flora and Fauna by Banks - known, not surprisingly, as Banks's Florilegium!


* Wikipedia

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