Watkins Ale

May 22, 1992

The English mixed consort is fascinating for several reasons, not the least of which is its multi-colored sound. Combining the sultry viols, the ethereal flute, the "sprightly and cheerful" cittern, the "deep" bandora and the "noble" lute, the ensemble is capable of many humours, from the wrenching pathos of Dowland's "Lachrimae Pavin" to the foot-stomping hoe-down of John Johnson's "Green Garters." It also provides a continual challenge to the performers, who must find just the right balance among such disparate instruments. - Mary Anne Ballard