Musick Fyne and Friends at Inverness Cathedral.

For a short period on the evening of Friday 16th June 2017 Music Fyne and Friends transformed Inverness Cathedral into St Mark’s, Venice at the end of the 16th century.  The Friends for this performance were Inverness Trombones and the Marvel of Peru who joined Musick Fyne for the event.

Director D James Ross, in his introduction to the evening, stated that it fulfilled an ambition he had held for almost 40 years.  Judging by the excellent, impressive performance the long wait was well worth it.

The works performed stemmed from the mind of Giovanni Gabrieli (1555-1612) who was principal organist and composer at St Mark’s.  Giovanni was not the only Gabrieli involved at St Mark’s and the groups also performed music which were collaborations between Giovanni and his uncle Andrea.

A range of works were performed which showcased all of the talents of both the composers and the performers.  The bulk of the performances involved all the musicians but the skills of the individual performers were also highlighted.  Gordon Tocher and Robert Wallace performed some of the works Gabrieli composed for organ.  Beneath the solid blocks of sound of Ricercar Tone XI lie the potential for some really interesting improvisation.  The Marvel of Peru and the Inverness Trombones combined during Sonata pian e Forte a 8 to illustrate the range of resources that cathedrals such as St Mark’s had access to – it was not just voices.

The groups left the best until the end.  This year is the 450th anniversary of the birth of Claudio Monteverdi.  Monteverdi took over from Gabrieli at St Mark’s and as an encore the groups performed Ave Maris Stella from his Vespers.  For this the vocalists used the whole area of the cathedral splitting into four and creating a glorious quadrophonic sound across the space.

The acoustics and ambience of the Cathedral enhanced the performance greatly adding in heavenly and mystical elements to the evening.

Thanks are due to the Cathedral for hosting and assisting.