COME and hear a baroque ensemble on Friday, July 20 at Madley Festival.

Red Priest? Red-haired Vivaldi, il preto rosso, gives the group its name. Music by Vivaldi certainly - Bach and Purcell too, but this is a baroque concert with a difference and 'faint hearts should prepare themselves'.

The incomparable Piers Adams (recorders), Julia Bishop (violin), Angela East (cello) and Julian Rhodes (harpsichord), formed the quartet in 1977 in order to present 'the other side of baroque music'.

As a critic said 'If nobody goes over the top, how will we know what lies on the other side?' No holds are barred in their total re-interpretation of baroque music, producing an effect like 'crossing a Wigmore Hall concert with a .... folk session in an Irish bar', highly competent and infectiously different.

Audiences have been held goggle-eyed and spell-bound on the edge of their seats by the fire, sheer technical ability and brilliance of Red Priest's inspired musicianship.


Piers Adams playing has been described as 'beyond virtuosity into improbability'. The sheer speed of the faster passages has to be seen as well as heard to be believed, contrasting with almost languorous slower movements.

The concert is also a visual experience. The usual static formality of chamber concerts is replaced by movement around the stage, lending a new dimension to the music.

The musicians, whose dress suggests mediaeval strolling players, play almost entirely from memory and share a remarkable rapport. The whole is infused with a sense of enjoyment which spills over into cheerful asides and explanations of their approach to the music, involving the audience in the fun.

Unreserved tickets can be bought at Outback in Hereford, Capriole Music in Leominster or at the church door on the evening of the concert.

To obtain a free brochure giving further information about the festival ring Maureen Hind on 01981 250309 or Linda Coates on 01568 797059, or e-mail