The Musicke Companye Review: Entertainment and music in the run-up to Christmas come nowadays in many forms and the Strathearn Music Society’s seasonal offering this year was A Yuletide Tale, given by The Musicke Companye. As the title and spelling suggest, this was a group with a “yesteryear” flavour, four accomplished musicians eager to explore the rich and varied world of baroque chamber music, and here assembling a charming sequence of words and music mostly from seventeenth and eighteenth century England and Italy. Taking excerpts from the Diaries of Samuel Pepys, John Evelyn and other contemporary chroniclers as a historical frame the two singers (soprano Philippa Hyde and counter-tenor Timothy Carleston) presented a serendipitous selection of songs, carols and duets interspersed with instrumental contributions from cellist Jennifer Janse and Helen Rogers on harpsichord and chamber organ. The ensemble’s impeccable singing and tasteful playing were complemented by what we now call “sensitive production values”, with just enough play-acting and storytelling in the mix to generate the necessary gentle audience rapport for the occasion – and full marks to all four performers for projection and delivery of readings as well as music.  A delightful package all round, and an agreeably different way to pass a December Sunday afternoon.   Next concert: the Bardic Trio (voice, harp, guitar) on Wednesday 18 January 2017 at 7.30 in St Andrew’s Halls, Crieff. The singer is Jamie McDougall, well known as a wonderful tenor and also as a BBC presenter.