Author Topic: Early English Instrumental Music  (Read 46397 times)

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Offline Mandryka

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Re: English Renaissance and Baroque Instrumental Music
« Reply #60 on: June 18, 2016, 09:32:10 PM »


Nigel North plays John Dowland's The Dream P 75. After a pretty straightforward start,  he moves from a simple melody/accompaniment model and he tries to bring out the inner voices, I think not very successfully because the voices don't seem to be in any sort of living relationship.




Anthony Bailes plays the Dream, a lovely heartfelt performance which along with Lindberg's is my favourite I think.

If any lutenists out there have the time to listen to Thomas Dunford's Dream and help me appreciate it that would be nice, I don't want to just dismiss it as a train wreck.

« Last Edit: June 18, 2016, 09:36:46 PM by Mandryka »
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Offline Mandryka

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Re: English Renaissance and Baroque Instrumental Music
« Reply #61 on: July 05, 2016, 09:31:12 AM »
     


Thomas Tomkins Offertory is a big study in rhythm and imitation, I have three performances:

Hadrien Jourdan on the British built (Dallam) 17th century organ at Lanvellec. The performance is almost symphonic in the sense recommended as authentic by Stef Tuinstra in his notes on Georg Boehm: Jourdan ain't shy of using all the colourful stops at his disposal. The performance also reflects his view in the booklet that all but the last pieces by Tomkins are extravagant and impulsive.

Bernhard Klapprott on the 17th century meantone tuned organ at Uttum. The organ sounds old but more faceless than Jourdan's and the performance is more sober. 

Bertrand Cuiller on a modern copy of a Dutch style 16th century harpsichord, he turns it into a real virtuoso keyboard piece, exciting from the point of view of keyboard fireworks, fast and furious. .



Stephen Farr plays the elusive and epic Tomkins Offertory on this CD, he uses a modern neo baroque chamber organ, Taylor and Boody, modified meantone tuned, like the tuning of the Schnitger/Norden

http://www.taylorandboody.com/opus_pages/opus_66/specification.html

Farr's style is sensual, and he errs towards serenity, but in some of the more ardent divisions  towards the end especially, he finds passion aplenty. I don't know if this isn't the best performance of the offertory I have ever heard (how's that for British a double negative!)
« Last Edit: July 05, 2016, 10:04:07 AM by Mandryka »
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Offline Mandryka

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Re: English Renaissance and Baroque Instrumental Music
« Reply #62 on: July 11, 2016, 07:06:42 AM »


Fretwork play Dowland, including the Lachrimae. The word which comes to mind when I listen to this is - light. That's to say, despite the evident distressing nature of the music, there is absolutely no sense of being weighed down by melancholy.There's a sense of an ensemble which has so mastered the music that they can, as it were, let themselves go, abandon themselves. The sound they make is wonderful, meltingly wonderful. And the classicism of it, the sense of poised emotion, is very attractive and maybe original.  The complexity of the emotional landscape is impressive: it's like the melancholy is never overwhelming and is always relieved by intimations of joy.

The 1604 Lachrimae featured not just the famous seven pavans, but also " divers other pavans, galliards and allemands, set forth for the lute, viols, or violons." I'm coming to the opinion that the whole thing is one of those anthologies where the whole is greater than the sum of the parts, and that there's a sort of serendipitous coherence, like Orgelbuchlein IMO. Maybe I should have said even greater. At least I can say this with confidence: this is a great CD to hear from start to finish.
« Last Edit: July 11, 2016, 07:14:27 AM by Mandryka »
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Offline (: premont :)

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Re: English Renaissance and Baroque Instrumental Music
« Reply #63 on: July 11, 2016, 10:25:45 AM »

Fretwork play Dowland, including the Lachrimae. The word which comes to mind when I listen to this is - light. That's to say, despite the evident distressing nature of the music, there is absolutely no sense of being weighed down by melancholy.There's a sense of an ensemble which has so mastered the music that they can, as it were, let themselves go, abandon themselves. The sound they make is wonderful, meltingly wonderful. And the classicism of it, the sense of poised emotion, is very attractive and maybe original.  The complexity of the emotional landscape is impressive: it's like the melancholy is never overwhelming and is always relieved by intimations of joy.

I think they are very English, gentleman-like in their approach. Yes, maybe rather authentic.

My absolute favorites however are the opulent sounding Rose Consort, and the more emotionally shaped Dowland Consort. Also The Consort of Music deserves a mention, to some degree it resembles Fretwork in this music. Interesting to note, that a number of the involved musicians are common to some of these four groups.

I warm less to the groups which use instruments of the violin family (e.g.The Parley of Instruments, Kings Noyse), maybe I find the balance uneven, or miss the rich viol sound. I recently parted with Savall's recording, which I find too heavy in the expression, it feels like the air, just before a thunder breaks out.
« Last Edit: July 11, 2016, 11:06:15 AM by (: premont :) »
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Offline Mandryka

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Re: English Renaissance and Baroque Instrumental Music
« Reply #64 on: July 11, 2016, 08:20:24 PM »
I'm very keen on Savall's phrasing, the way he pauses. And the colour. And somehow the fact that he plays galiards with the pavans lightens the thing up a bit.

2016 is the year of the Lachrimae, with two new releases (Phantasm released a couple of weeks ago, and The Chelys Consort due for release later.)
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Offline (: premont :)

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Re: English Renaissance and Baroque Instrumental Music
« Reply #65 on: July 12, 2016, 12:58:55 AM »
I'm very keen on Savall's phrasing, the way he pauses. And the colour. And somehow the fact that he plays galiards with the pavans lightens the thing up a bit.

I decidedly prefer the Lacrima Pavans played in continuity, like a set of variations.
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Offline HIPster

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Re: English Renaissance and Baroque Instrumental Music
« Reply #66 on: July 29, 2016, 02:52:37 PM »
An utterly charming and convincing recording from Charivari Agreable ~



Superb!  :)
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Offline Mandryka

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Re: English Renaissance and Baroque Instrumental Music
« Reply #67 on: August 04, 2016, 09:23:01 PM »


This selection of music from the Fitzwilliam Virginal Book is a favourite for three reasons.

First, Kenneth Weiss can really drive a harpsichord, he can create a huge variety of colours and textures and ornaments and touches, and he uses this technical skill with great discretion to make atmospheric music - a poet first and foremost.

And second his grasp how to manage the relationships between voices to produce music which is contrapuntally daring is really astonishing. I'd noticed that before in his Bach, where it's a commonplace that the music functions in part through its counterpoint. But to find the same approach here in British music is surprising and revealing, because you'd think it would harm the music's lyrical flow. But not at all: Weiss's vision, so expertly implemented, is of fluid music brought to life by its complex and dramatic interplay of voices.

And third, the depth of his thinking is evident in the music making. There is nothing formulaic in this recording: every piece has been allocated its own atmosphere and meaning.

The result is a Fitzwilliam Virginal Book which is based on paradox. First, at the level of the content, in Weiss's hands these Fitzwilliam pieces are at one and the same time radiant and intimate.

But more than this, he reveals music which is on the one hand a coherent structure which flows inevitably from the first note to the last. And on the other music which is interrupted by clashes, dissonances, moments of respiration, musical surprises and explosions.


« Last Edit: August 04, 2016, 11:55:36 PM by Mandryka »
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Offline Mandryka

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Re: English Renaissance and Baroque Instrumental Music
« Reply #68 on: August 06, 2016, 09:16:01 AM »


The vision in this album of Elizabethan music played by Colin Tilney is solar and intense and lyrical, fluid. The instrument (a virginal?)  is muscular and clear. Tinley's touch, the way each note is linked to the ones adjacent to it, makes me think of a shower of diamonds, sunlight reflecting on the sea in summer.

The whole think comes together to make something hypnotic and irresistible and very far from anodyne.
« Last Edit: August 06, 2016, 10:54:43 AM by Mandryka »
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Offline Mandryka

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Re: English Renaissance and Baroque Instrumental Music
« Reply #69 on: August 07, 2016, 03:42:27 AM »


Very great recording this, on characterful organs interestingly tuned and played with sweep and panache and joie de vivre. I'll put this here as the versions streaming are not well tagged. It has some things in common with Tilney's Elizabethan dances CD above - it is sunny and it is impossible to stop listening once you start.

Thurston Dart plays English Organ Music

St. Lawrence’s, Appleby [1-6], Holy Trinity Chapel, Staunton Harold [7-9]

St. John’s, Wolverhampton [10-19], All Saints’, Rotherham [20-25]

1   WILLIAM BYRD (1543-1623)   A Fancy (Ladye Nevells Booke No.36)   5-45
2       A Voluntarie (Ladye Nevells Booke No.42)   2-33
3   JOHN BULL (1562-1628)   Salvator Mundi Deus (British Library Add. Mus. MS 23623)   1-32
4       Fantasia (Vienna Library 17771 fol. 10)   2-57
5   ORLANDO GIBBONS (1583-1625)   In Nomine (Cosyn’s Virginal Book, page 178)   2-32
6       Fantasia (Cosyn’s Virginal Book, page 162)   2-41
7   THOMAS TOMKINS (1572-1656)   Fancy (Christ Church Library, Oxford 1113 No.59)   2-05
8   JOHN BLOW (1649-1708)   Verset in D Minor (Brit. Libr. Add. Mus. MS 31468 fol. 16)   2-59
9       Prelude in A Re (Brit. Libr. Add. Mus. MS 34695 fol. 21)   2-42
10   MATTHEW LOCKE (c. 1622-1677)   For a Double Organ (Melothesia, page 82)   2-41
11   HENRY PURCELL (1659-1695)   Voluntary on the Old Hundredth Z 721   3-10
12       Verset (Christ Church Library, Oxford , 1179 page 36)   1-04
13   MAURICE GREENE (1695-1755)   Voluntary No. 2 (Largo; Andante) (published c.1780)   3-45
14   G. F. HANDEL(1685-1759)   Fugue in F HWV 611   2-43
15-19       Suite: Entrée, Menuet, Gavotte, Air Lentement, Concerto (Allegro)   6-24
20   HENRY PURCELL   Voluntary in G Major Z 720   3-07
21       Voluntary in C Major Z 717   1-12
22       Verse in F major Z 716   1-24
23   JAMES NARES (1715-1783)   Introduction and Fugue (Six Fugues, London, 1772)   4-36
24   WILLIAM BOYCE (1710-1779)   Voluntary No. 7 (Ten Voluntaries , c.1785)   4-49
25   JOHN STANLEY (1713-1786)   Voluntary Op.7 No.9 (Ten Voluntaries , 1754)   3-33


« Last Edit: August 07, 2016, 03:45:13 AM by Mandryka »
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Offline Mandryka

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Re: English Renaissance and Baroque Instrumental Music
« Reply #70 on: August 08, 2016, 07:44:59 AM »



Hogwood's vision of the music in this recording of selections from The Fitzwilliam Virginal Book seems to be essentially that it's light flowing lyrical elegant song and dance. Clear pulse; always forward motion; clean articulation;  when the music is virtuosic (as in Mundy's Robin) the virtuosity is delicate, modest, refined rather than self promoting bravura; the flow of the music is imperturbable, never really ruffled by a rebellious secondary voice or an attention seeking agogic accent.

There is not much  psychologising or spiritualising. For Hogwood, the expressive impact is often present in an unambiguous way -  a jolly jig, a touching tune. I wouldn't want to suggest that what he does is neutral though, far from it. There's enough intensity and control projected to communicate his commitment to what he's doing.

At it's best the result is really very charming, a pleasure to hear: engaging and relaxing, especially in Peter Philips (But Philips always brings the best out of people.)
« Last Edit: August 08, 2016, 07:49:02 AM by Mandryka »
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Re: English Renaissance and Baroque Instrumental Music
« Reply #71 on: August 18, 2016, 10:53:59 AM »
Picked up today used LP of Colin Tilney playing Byrd, Bull, Farnaby, Gibbons and Tomkins. It's on DG Archiv and I'm not sure it ever had a CD release. Titled Music for Virginal but majority is played on nice sounding Italian 17th century harpsichord, four pieces are played on Dutch 16th century double virginal, another fine instrument but I think the recording is quite close and there is certain ping to the sound of the instrument that can get bit disconcerting. From single spin Tilney's playing seems trenchant and no nonsense.

https://www.discogs.com/Colin-Tilney-Music-For-Virginal/release/4074320

Offline Mandryka

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Re: English Renaissance and Baroque Instrumental Music
« Reply #72 on: August 25, 2016, 03:45:19 AM »


I like this recording by Anthony Rooley, of music by Anthony Holborne, very much. Part of it is the timbres, the sound quality. It  is rich sounding, colourful, but it is not at all bright. This seems to give the music a dusky and mysterious quality which personally I find very attractive.

Also there's the style. Everything appears totally natural: like a simple, naïve expression. I'm sure that is not true - I'm sure it's art hiding art. Nevertheless what they do is, in my response at least, rich in feeling.  Rich in feeling but without ever lapsing into anything resembling a caricature of  melancholy or cheerfulness. It's a case where a phlegmatic English Gentleman approach is, for me at least, more moving that an ardent one.
« Last Edit: August 25, 2016, 03:48:43 AM by Mandryka »
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Offline Mandryka

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Re: English Renaissance and Baroque Instrumental Music
« Reply #73 on: August 28, 2016, 05:16:15 AM »


Richard Boothby plays these solo viol pieces by William Lawes with no sense of pleasure or of wonder and with very little fantasy. He is the quintessence of matter-of-fact. He projects a feeling of total seriousness and absolute control. 

It is beautifully recorded and his viol is rather nice sounding.
« Last Edit: August 28, 2016, 05:19:34 AM by Mandryka »
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Offline Mandryka

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Re: English Renaissance and Baroque Instrumental Music
« Reply #74 on: September 03, 2016, 03:59:20 AM »


I think this recital disc by Rachelle Taylor is outstanding, one of the greatest British keyboard recitals.

She's a colourist in her soul and she has a feel for how to make this music sound soulful, meaningful. The overall feeling is often inward and passionate cantabile, but I wouldn't want to give the impression that she can't be playful when she wats to be (in Bull for example.) She knows how to make the pulse of the music clear without ever pounding chords.

I came across it while listening to harpsichord performances of Tomkins's Sad Pavan, which everyone plays. That's what drew my attention to her, though I had heard her play Tallis before, I didn't know that she'd done more.

« Last Edit: September 03, 2016, 04:04:22 AM by Mandryka »
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Offline Mandryka

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Re: English Renaissance and Baroque Instrumental Music
« Reply #75 on: September 05, 2016, 11:26:36 PM »


My absolute favorites however are the opulent sounding Rose Consort,

It's a bit too expressively restrained for me, at least as a cycle (I note that in my recording they interleaved songs, but I've not heard them like that.)
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Offline Mandryka

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Re: English Renaissance and Baroque Instrumental Music
« Reply #76 on: September 10, 2016, 06:41:22 AM »



What is remarkable about this recording of music by Christopher Simpson is that somehow they make it feel like more than just music. It feels like they're using the music to express something which is humane and wise. At the level of sound, they reveal a music which is both full of asperities and sweet, tender. It both has a living heartbeat, and is soft and singing.
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Offline Mandryka

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Re: English Renaissance and Baroque Instrumental Music
« Reply #77 on: September 12, 2016, 07:03:21 AM »



Savall presents a John Coprario who is fine composer with a distinctive voice. Fine because the fantasias especially show an attractive complexity. And distinctive because the articulation is so incisive - the result is not at all lyrical, more like short snatches of music blown in on the wind. It makes me think of recordings that Savall was making thirty years after - like his second Tobias Hume CD. It's a style of viol playing I associate most with Pandolfo (who didn't participate in the recording), a style I like a lot. Rare music, this.
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Offline Mandryka

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Re: English Renaissance and Baroque Instrumental Music
« Reply #78 on: September 21, 2016, 12:28:32 AM »


If anyone's looking for a single compilation CD of 17th century English viol consort music, then I doubt you could do better than this one from the Kuijken Bros and Robert Kohnen. The style is balanced, refined, expressive and supple and sometimes "psychological" (I'm thinking of the Matthew Locke fantazias, which show him to be of the same ilk as Tobias Hume.) They communicate their passion for the music somehow.  They're clearly playing as a team and responding and listening. The selection is interesting and unusual - an attractive mixture of variations, fantasies, dances - and that makes the whole recording a good listening experience. The sound quality is excellent.
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Offline Mandryka

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Re: English Renaissance and Baroque Instrumental Music
« Reply #79 on: March 14, 2017, 08:27:13 AM »


Alina Rotaru's vision of Byrd, Gibbons and Bull is angry. She pounds out the music in a one dimensional way, there's no emotional complexity here. Accents are forceful.  She likes to play fast. Rhythms are fairly rigid. It's thrilling but jejune.

Anyway that's my conclusion after two listens. I posted something like this yesterday but deleted it because I feared I may be doing her an injustice. But no. I hope someone will point out the error of my ways.

In fact I've come across this conception of English music before, in a live performance of Bull's Walsingham Variations by Leon Berben. Bull and Byrd had a lot to feel angry about - but did Gibbons?

She's playing some sort of German harpsichord I believe, I haven't found more details.
« Last Edit: March 14, 2017, 08:29:16 AM by Mandryka »
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