The Playfords

Björn Werner – vocals
Annegret Fischer – recorders
Benjamin Dressler – viola da gamba
Nora Thiele – percussion
Erik Warkenthin – baroque guitar, lute, chitarrone

You can feel a spark race through the audience right from the very first number (Südwest Presse)
No one can sit still in their seat once The Playfords begin playing (Mitteldeutsche Zeitung)
An absolutely exquisite pleasure (PA)
Irrepressible joie-de-vivre and accomplished musicality (Badische Zeitung)
A good number of modern jazz musicians’ mouths are going to hang open (Radio Lotte)
The audience was beside itself with excitement – and understandably so (Neue Westfälische)
The smiles on the faces in the audience speak volumes (Prenzlauer Zeitung)
Thunderous applause (Recklinghäuser Zeitung)
A band that can make big things happen in the folk scene (Folkmagazin)

You can feel a spark race through the audience right from the very first number
(Südwest Presse)

No one can sit still in their seat once The Playfords begin playing
(Mitteldeutsche Zeitung)

An absolutely exquisite pleasure
(PA)

Irrepressible joie-de-vivre and accomplished musicality
(Badische Zeitung)

A good number of modern jazz musicians’ mouths are going to hang open
(Radio Lotte)

The audience was beside itself with excitement – and understandably so
(Neue Westfälische)

The smiles on the faces in the audience speak volumes
(Prenzlauer Zeitung)

Thunderous applause
(Recklinghäuser Zeitung)

A band that can make big things happen in the folk scene
(Folkmagazin)

The Playfords are dedicated to creating authentic and innovative interpretations of Renaissance and early Baroque dance music. Using historical instruments, they perform early music in new arrangements that start with spontaneous improvisation and reach completed form after a process of cooperative work with dance experts and after a great deal of live performance.

The five-member group was formed in 2001, inspired by The English Dancing Master by John and Henry Playford. This collection, which first appeared in 1651, provided notation on fitting dance steps for the period’s well-known melodies. Harmonies and bass were to be improvised by the performing musicians, their essential character determined by those musicians’ own predilections and particular talents. This was a welcome challenge to any virtuosic musician’s creativity – then as well as now. The Playfords continue in this tradition through the practices they have adopted in their performance of early music. Playful references to contemporary music are naturally unavoidable. The group’s “Early Music Jam Sessions” have gained cult status, and their “Early Music Folk” has captivated audiences in Germany and abroad.

The Playfords have performed regularly at international festivals since 2005, including as part of the “Oude Muziek Utrecht” festival, at the Gewandhaus Leipzig, Schloss Tirol, as part of the MDR-Musiksommer, at the Bach-Biennale Weimar, the Stockstädter Blockflötenfesttage, the Festival Gottorfer Hofmusik, the SWR-Sommerfestival, the Hohenloher Kultursommer, the Brandenburgischen Sommerkonzerte, the Bach Biennale Weimar and at the EXPO 2015 in Milan.

The Playfords have organised the annual PLAYGROUND festival of early music folk in Weimar since 2011.