IF NOT all-embracing, Lake District Summer Music Festival certainly presents a wide range of music each year with a multiplicity of events from which to choose and usually three on any one day, writes CLIVE WALKLEY.

For example, Trio Anima, an ensemble of young artists at the beginning of their careers, gave an impressive début recital of music for flute, viola and harp in Ambleside Parish Centre. The enterprising programme was well-received, although the small parish centre with its bright acoustic is not the most comfortable venue for an ensemble with a flute. In contrast later in the day, the more intimate confines of Blackwell Arts and Crafts House, near Bowness, proved an ideal venue for the award-winning consort Dramma per Musica when a capacity audience heard music from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

Founded in 2018, this group of three musicians gave its début recital at the Brighton Early Music Festival in that year. With voice, accompanied by chitarrone - a long-necked lute - and viola da gamba the group aims ‘to explore the confluence of emotion and drama through sound and language’, and their Blackwell programme presented vocal and instrumental music by composers who were the first to attempt to present ‘drama through music’, an early form of opera.

Alongside the familiar English composers, Purcell and Lawes, the Italian Monteverdi, and the French Lully, we heard music by more obscure musicians whose compositions have only relatively recently come to light with the explosion of interest in early music. So, for instance, music by Kapsberger (hardly a composer with a household name!), Peri and Caccini also featured in the programme.

Tenor, Rory Carver, took centre stage, accompanied by Jonatan Bougt, chitarrone, and Harry Buckoke, viola da gamba as he opened the programme with the prologue from the opera La Dafne by another forgotten composer, the Florentine Marco da Gagliano. Immediately, he captured the audience’s attention by his expressive, dramatic delivery of the Italian text. He was equally at home in French as he continued with music by Lully. Jonatan Bougt also impressed with his performance of a Toccata by Kapsperger. Harry Buckoke was more subdued when his turn came to play a solo but in collective ensemble a perfect balance was achieved. After fervent applause, the three musicians returned to the stage and gave a very spirited rendition of the Sailors’ Chorus from Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas.

Lake District Summer Music runs until Friday, August 9

For further information go online at www.ldsm.org.uk.

Box office 01539-742620