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Singers, young actors lovely mix

The Polyphonic Bard

The Street Theatre. November 30 to December 2.

Reviewer: Janet WilsonThe Canberra Times

“The performance intermingled music with scenes that illustrated love in many forms: playful, despairing, cynical, combative and seductive.

“There was excellent balance between the five singing voices and a nice variation in mood as the ensemble moved from the sweetness of Palestrina’s Vestiva I Colli, a wistful expression of love in springtime, to the outrageous Je Ne Menge Point de Porc, complete with porky grunts, and on to the spiritual O Nata Lux by Tallis. David Yardley’s rollicking rendition of Bryng us Home Good Ale was a temptation to clap and toe-tap along and there were well-controlled changes of rhythm and mood in Thomas Morley’s Farewell Disdainful.”

Read the full review at The Canberra Times.


In Dulci Jubilo

Here’s a blast from the past—the Pocket Score Company rehearsing In Dulci Jubilo in June 2009.

And, in response to several requests, here’s the score. It’s arranged to fit within the PSC vocal range (i.e. Alto, Tenor, Tenor, and Bass), and has four verses as follows:

  1. Traditional arrangement
  2. Harmonised by Michael Praetorius
  3. Harmonised by Dieterich Buxtehude
  4. Harmonised by J.S. Bach

It’s a public domain performing edition, and you’re welcome to use it without a fee. Please add a comment below if you use it!

In Dulci Jubilo (PDF download)

Len Power’s review of The Polyphonic Bard

A lovely review from Len Power of the Canberra Critics Circle of The Polyphonic Bard, which featured PSC regulars Ian Blake, Paul Eldon and David Yardley, and welcomed guest artists Daniel Sanderson and John Virgoe.

“the five men of The Pocket Score Company thrilled with their intricate harmonies and choice of music. Commencing with ‘If Music Be The Food Of Love’ from ‘Twelfth Night’, set to music by Henry Purcell, they followed with works by Thomas Tallis, Claudio Monteverdi, Giovanni Palestrina, Thomas Morley and others.”

Read the full review on the Canberra Critics Circle website.

Music and Shakespeare in our time

Cathy Bannister from “Stage Whispers” reviews The Polyphonic Bard:

“The Pocket Score Company all-male ensemble is superb, and has particular strengths at the bottom (bass Ian Blake) and top, with countertenor and harpist David Yardley’s beautiful clear voice providing perfect balance to the rich harmonies. We were treated to Purcell (including the favourite If Music Be the Food of Love), Tallis, Palestrina and Monteverdi. Variously using only two, three, four, or all five voices, they easily filled the room with beautiful resonance.”

Read the full review on the “Stage Whispers” site.

Shakespeare gets a soundscape

The Polyphonic Bard reviewed by Joe Woodward in the Canberra City News:

Polyphonic Bard“The vocal effect is truly stunning. The voices blend so well that, in an age of digital enhancement, it was bliss to realise the power of human sound crafted through an ancient art form. Apart from some pre-recording of the final piece, it was live and perfectly balanced.”

Read the full review on the City News website.


Frank McKone’s review of the Polyphonic Bard

Frank McKone of the Canberra Critics Circle on The Polyphonic Bard:

Polyphonic Bard“For the young students of the Canberra Academy of Dramatic Art, the top-quality 5-part singing of the Pocket Score team – David Yardley (countertenor), Paul Eldon (tenor), John Virgoe (tenor), Daniel Sanderson (baritone) and Ian Blake (bass) – provides a model for them to aspire to.  They have a long way to go at this point in their quest, but this public performance is an important step along the way.

“Once upon a time, when I trained young people for tertiary training auditions, requiring a Shakespeare piece, of course, I used to explain how 5- or even 8-part singing took place in the pubs of London in Shakespeare’s day, and how those complexities of rhythm, harmony and stress patterns underlie the poetry of Shakespeare’s words.  These CADA students are lucky enough to learn in practice, from the Pocket Score Company, what I could only explain to my trainees.”

Read the full review on the Canberra Critics Circle website.