We know that, over the centuries, the Gardens were a place where much music was played and enjoyed.
This May we had planned a 35th Anniversary celebratory romp through our history, this was to include some wonderful young musicians from Birmingham Conservatoire playing music from the times when the Gardens were at their peak in the late 1600s and early 1700s.
The small building at the end of the Holly Walk is known variously as the Music Room and the Summer House. Scholars from the Gardens, our sister site Weston Park and from the Conservatoire even have records of music manuscripts and what music parties were held.
We like to continue the tradition of having all kinds of music played outdoors on our site….
Today, let’s just celebrate the Spring and imagine this somewhere under our apple trees in the Orchards..
This piece is from the Fairie Queen by Purcell, which premiered in 1692 in London at the Dorset Gardens Theatre.
The music was written as part of a ‘Restoration spectacular’, a ‘masque’ or semi opera. Effectively it was a blockbuster show full of fancy costumes, amazing stage effects, music, songs and ballet all wrapped round Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream…
This short song is near the end of the Masque – the Queen and King of the Fairies – Titania and Oberon are in celebratory mood and are singing praises of the seasons..
Thus the ever Grateful Spring,
Does her yearly Tribute bring;
All your Sweets before him lay,
Then round his Altar, Sing and Play
Who knows, Bridgeman family members, keen musicians, may at the time have purchased the manuscript of some of these airs and played them here, in Castle Bromwich.
It may not be everyone’s favourite choice of music.. but let’s hope we can all be grateful to Spring… I’m sure Titania and Oberon are already in the Gardens ..