Program: #19-10 Air Date: Feb 25, 2019
The lute book of the Dark Lord, transcriptions of Elizabethan works for gamba and accordion (!), and music for the 12-course lute.
I. The Dark Lord’s Music (Martin Eastwell, lute). Music & Media CD MMC117.
However, his lute book, preserved in the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge, tells another story, for it is among the most important sources of English and Continental instrumental music of this period. Almost all the major English lute composers of the era are represented, while the large number of works by Continental composers is probably a consequence of Lord Herbert’s extensive travels and wide range of acquaintance throughout Europe. The book also contains extraordinary and otherwise unknown works by Cuthbert Hely and Lord Herbert himself, a last echo of English lute music’s “Golden Age”.
Herbert’s major philosophical work, “De Veritate…” remained on the Catholic Church’s “Index of Forbidden Books” until 1966 and has earned him the title of the “Father of English Deism”. Deism can be described as a philosophical position that asserts that the existence of a benevolent supreme being can be ascertained through observation of the natural world and the use of human reason but denies the direct interference of God in the world, and revelation as a source of knowledge in religion. It follows from this that Deists are generally hostile to organised religion, a dangerous position in the early 17th Century. To his contemporaries, he was known as “The Dark Lord Herbert” – both on account of his physical appearance, and the obscurity of his ideas.
II. Les inAttendus: Poetical Humors (Vincent Lhermet, accordion/Marianne Muller, gamba). Harmonia Mundi CD HMM 902610.
Also unexpected is this cross-generational meeting of two musicians (what are the odds?) who found each other exploring the ‘poetical humours’ of early-Seventeenth-century England.
Recently reunited in the recording studio after several seasons of rapturously received recitals, with this well-timed album the duo Les inAttendus makes its first entry into the Harmonia Mundi catalogue.
Marianne Muller (viola da gamba) and Vincent Lhermet (accordion) are interviewed for the booklet note, telling how they met both socially and musically at the International Summer Academy in Nice in 2015. Exploring repertoire, they soon found a kind of magic in the music of English composers from the 16th and 17th centuries, and there is some mixture of the ancient and the modern in this programme, with première recordings of pieces by Thierry Tidrow and Philippe Hersant adding piquancy to the Elizabethan pieces elsewhere.
There is a dolorous charm to much of the music here, and famous pieces such a Dowland’s Flow, my tears are given a gentle transparency through these arrangements. Contrast in this case comes from the more lively Can she excuse my wrongs, the accordion adding its strengths as a dancingly rhythmic powerhouse in proportion to the whole. Less familiar names such as Michael East and Tobias Hume brush up very well indeed in these performances, the echoes in the latter’s Touch me sweetely being very effective. The keyboard works of John Bull sound lovely on solo accordion, and the viola da gamba takes a solo in Tobias Hume’s Captain Hume’s Pavan, the melancholy voice of this instrument also taking up the dramatic poses in the music with poetic verve.
Thierry Tidrow’s Into Something Rich and Strange takes its atmosphere from Shakespeare’s ‘Full fathom five’ poem from The Tempest. High tones emerge from silence, and clustered dissonances and distorted melodic fragments illustrate the ‘magical and macabre’ in the text. Phillipe Hersant’s Lully Lullay grows out of a refrain heard in the Corpus Christi Carol, and as befits a cradle song, keeps up a gently rocking motion until ‘the wind starts to blow’ and things become shaken up with more virtuoso surprises and more emphatic variations on the theme. This is a tune that is now forever associated with Benjamin Britten, and the ethereal penultimate minutes with the gamba’s strumming come closest to that Britten ‘feel’, the concluding coda being almost a sea shanty.
This is a strikingly unusual recording and one which rattles around hauntingly in one’s consciousness long after being heard. The open cadence at the end of the CD in Dowland’s In darkness let me dwell is jaw-dropping indeed. If you love Elizabethan music and are intrigued by new sonorities then this is a field of rich pickings. There is plenty by which to be moved, and plenty to stimulate and tickle your intellect as well.
From: The First Part of Ayres, French, Pollish and others (1605)
What greater grief [2:15]
John DOWLAND (c. 1563-1626)
From: The Second Booke of Songs or Ayres (1600)
Shall I sue [4:20]
Orlando GIBBONS (1583-1625)
Galliard a 3 [1:21]
Michael EAST (c. 1580-1648)
And I as well as Thou [2:04]
Flow, my tears [4:35]
Can she excuse my wrongs [1:15]
Thierry TIDROW (b.1986)
Into something rich and strange [9:36]
John BULL (1562?-1628)
From: Fitzwilliam Virginal Book, 1899
Myself, K138 [2:54]
From: Captaine Humes Poeticall Musicke, 1607
Sweete Musicke [5:12]
From: The First Part of Ayres, French, Pollish and others, 1605
Touch me sweetely [2:00]
Fantasia [Dedicated to her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II] [5:18]
From: The First Part of Ayres, French, Pollish and others, 1605
Captain Humes Pavan [5:15]
Philippe HERSANT (b.1948)
Lully Lullay (2017) [8:12]
A Musical Banquet, 1610
In darkness let me dwell [4:19]
III. Lyra Sonora: Music for the 12 Course Lute (Anders Ericson, lute). Daphne CD 1061.
On this disc the Swedish lutenist Anders Ericson explores the repertory available for the 12-course lute. The CD contains music written expressly for 12 courses, as well as adaptations of 10-course pieces. Many of them are anonymous, several probably are by Gaultier on grounds of style. While the 11-course lute is tuned in D minor, the 12-course lute can be tuned in several different ways. The most common is D minor tuning and flat tuning. These tunings are on display on this CD which also contains 6 pieces in sharp tuning.
The 39 pieces are short: all but five are less than two minutes long. The music chosen consists largely of suites (preludes, allemandes, courantes and sarabandes) taken from the following sources: Panmure House lute book, pieces in G minor; Rostock lute book, in G minor; Sloane lute book, in B flat major; and Tabley House lute book in D minor. There are also three pieces by Jacques Gaultier himself (in D minor) and a charming set of six pieces (in D major) by Johann Gumprecht.
Overall this is an excellent CD. Ericson’s playing is superb and the sound quality is excellent. The balance between the diapasons and the upper strings is very good. I particularly liked the Gumprecht pieces, charming and tuneful as they are. His ‘Courante Patientia- Variation’ (track 35) was the stand-out piece for me. Gumprecht’s lovely Lyra Sonora (track 37) provides the title for the CD.
This is an essential CD for those who want to further explore and understand the lute repertory as it developed in the 17th century.
|1||Panmure House Lute Book No. 8: I. Prelude|
|2||Panmure House Lute Book No. 8: II. Allemande|
|3||Panmure House Lute Book No. 8: III. Courante|
|4||Panmure House Lute Book No. 8: IV. Allemande|
|5||Panmure House Lute Book N.o 8: V. Courante|
|6||Panmure House Lute Book No. 8: VI. Allemande|
|7||Panmure House Lute Book No. 8: VII. Courante Dufaut|
|8||Panmure House Lute Book No. 8: VIII. Sarabande|
|9||Rostock Lute Book: I. Prelaude du Faut in G Moll|
|10||Rostock Lute Book: II. Allemande|
|11||Rostock Lute Book: III. Courante Suedoise de du Faut|
|12||Rostock Lute Book: IV. Chanson-Si vous me voulez me guerir|
|13||Rostock Lute Book: V. Allemande Gautier|
|14||Rostock Lute Book: VI. Frère Frapart|
|15||Rostock Lute Book: VII. Courante de Gautier d'Angleterre|
|16||Rostock Lute Book: VIII. Sarabande Merville - Prima pars variata|
|17||Rostock Lute Book: IX. Gigue Bechon|
|18||Panmure House Lute Book No. 4: I. Allemande de Gaultier|
|19||Panmure House Lute Book No. 4: II. Courante de Gaultier d'Angleterre|
|20||Panmure House Lute Book No. 4: III. Sarabande du mesme Gaultier|
|21||Sloane Lute Book: I. Pralude|
|22||Sloane Lute Book: II. Allemand J. A. K.|
|23||Sloane Lute Book: III. Courante|
|24||Sloane Lute Book: IV. Letter Logicam|
|25||Sloane Lute Book: V. Courante|
|26||Sloane Lute Book: VI. Saraband|
|27||Tabley House Lute Book: I. Preludium Gauter of France|
|28||Tabley House Lute Book: II. Allmaine Mercure|
|29||Tabley House Lute Book: III. Corant Peeter Warner|
|30||Tabley House Lute Book: IV. Allmaine Peeter Warner|
|31||Tabley House Lute Book: V. Corant Dufau|
|32||Tabley House Lute Book: VI. Corant Dufau|
|33||Tabley House Lute Book: VII. A Toy Mr Charles|
|34||Donaueschingen Lute Book: I. Praludio|
|35||Donaueschingen Lute Book: II. Courante Patientia-Variation|
|36||Donaueschingen Lute Book: III. La Sua Sarabande|
|37||Donaueschingen Lute Book: IV. Lyra Sonora|
|38||Donaueschingen Lute Book: V. Flageolet|
|39||Donaueschingen Lute Book: VI. Ciaccona|
Jakob Reys, Du Gast, Robert Johnson, Daniel Bacheler, Diomedes Cato, GauthierHenri de L’Enclos, Cuthbert Hely, Luc or Pierre Despond, Edward Lord Herbert, Tobias HUME (c. 1579-1645), John DOWLAND (c. 1563-1626), Orlando GIBBONS (1583-1625), Michael EAST (c. 1580-1648), Thierry TIDROW (b.1986), John BULL (1562?-1628), Philippe HERSANT (b.1948)
CD MMC117, CD HMM 902610, Daphne CD 1061