The walls erected between folk and classical have grown tall over the years. But The Alehouse Sessions – brainchild of Norwegian violinist Bjarte Eike – take us back to the time of Oliver Cromwell’s Commonwealth, when the two genres joyously co-habited in taverns. With theatres closed and church music banned, England’s pubs became filled with highly-trained musicians only too ready to perform in these less formal surroundings.
Acclaimed Norwegian Baroque ensemble Barokksolistene’s Alehouse Sessions transform St George’s into one of these so-called 17th century Musick-Houses, mixing up Purcell with sea shanties and Scandinavian folksongs in performances that are raw yet sophisticated, seductive and sparkling – accompanied by anecdotes, humour and – of course – beer!
As the slogan of Barokksolistene reminds us, ‘it’s just old pop music’ .
These sessions have already been hailed as ‘irresistible’ (The Times), ‘superb’ (The Scotsman) and ‘fabulously unrestrained… unlocking the joy of musicmaking’ (The Guardian).