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Current Projects

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Double, Double Toil and Trouble

Throughout the ages, music and magic have been intrinsically linked. Featuring music by Tartini, JS Bach and Hildegard von Bingen, alongside renaissance consort music and contemporary works, the performance explores the historic relationship between music and the magical spectrum: including elements of mathematics, philosophy, nature, religion and the occult. 

A special online show of this programme has been supported by the Continuo Foundation. Historical accounts and medieval spells are paired with sensitive visual projections and choreography for a theatrical, multimedia event, not to be missed! 

Antidotum Arachne / Beware the Spider!

17th Century victims of venomous spider bites were offered no medicinal cure or relief. Instead the local musicians would work together to find a curative melody to reverse their otherwise fatal symptoms. This programme serves as a musical illustration of the wide-ranging side effects experienced by those suffering a poisonous spider bite.

This programme formed the basis of Palisander’s debut album, Beware the Spider! which received 4 stars from BBC Music Magazine. It balances historically informed performance practice on an authentic renaissance consort of recorders with contemporary arrangements created by Palisander, as well as traditional tarantellas reconstructed by the ensemble.

Composers Include: Antonio Vivaldi, William Byrd, Tarquinio Merula, Cipriano de Rore, Traditional Italian Tarantellas

Divorced, Beheaded, Died

Whilst this programme’s repertoire centres on one specific period: Early Tudor England, Palisander’s signature blend of movement, spoken word, additional percussion and singing combine to create a unique historical concert experience. ‘Divorced, Beheaded, Died’ follows the unfortunate stories of the women behind the rhyme: Henry VIII’s six wives. It includes music written for, inspired by and curated by these Queens, alongside historical accounts of the role music played in their lives.

The repertoire includes historically informed performance practice from the golden age of consort writing, alongside sensitive bespoke arrangements for recorders, bringing Tudor England to life.


Composers include: Robert Fayrfax, John Taverner. Thomas Tallis, Henry VIII, alongside Traditional English songs

Recorder Revolution! 

Recorder Revolution! is an interactive concert for children. Palisander were recently awarded funding from Arts Council England to develop and begin touring this project.


More info can be found here

Past Projects
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Elizabethans in Exile

Renaissance Europe was a time of great political, social and religious upheaval that saw many musicians exiled from their native courts. In England, where the religious reformation divided the country and treasonous plots were plentiful, many chose a life of exile to escape the dangers of their homeland.

This programme centres on the composers banished from, as well as those seeking refuge at the court of England’s Queen Elizabeth I including Peter Phillips, Thomas Tallis, William Brade and John Bull.

Dr Dee's Daughter and the Philosopher's Stone

Dr Dee's Daughter and the Philosopher's Stone was the result of an Arts Council England funded collaboration between Palisander and Rust & Stardust puppetry company. A play for children and family audiences, it followed the story of the real life Dr Dee's Daughter, Katherine, on her quest to create the Philosopher's Stone. Palisander were on stage musician's with costumes, choreography and lines!

Shakespeare's London

‘ Oh, the recorders! Let me see one...’ Hamlet: Act 3, Scene 2


Shakespeare made hundreds of references to music throughout his works, and in this concert Palisander recreates the captivating sounds of Shakespeare’s London that inspired the playwright. This programme includes music from the courts of his Royal Patrons, Queen Elizabeth I and King James I; theatrical flavours from masquing music to melodies of The London Waits; the tunes of London’s market criers recorded by Gibbons, and of course works from the only composer Shakespeare ever mentioned by name – John Dowland.

Journey to the New World

This programme is inspired by voyages to the New World by Christopher Columbus, Sir Francis Drake and Sir Walter Raleigh. It centers on themes of Renaissance exploration and discovery, with musical illustrations of the men’s journeys to the New World. The chosen repertoire balances music of the explorer’s native courts performed on historically authentic instruments, with pieces inspired by the sea, explorations into the music of the indigenous peoples of the Americas and pieces inspired by the conflicts that arose as Anglo-Spanish relations soured. Alongside pieces that were originally conceived for recorders and pipes, much of the repertoire has been specially arranged, written or reconstructed by Palisander for recorder quartet. 

Composers Include: Thomas Tallis, Antonio de Cabezon, Antonio Vivaldi, Guatemala City Choirbooks

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