> The Queen's Goodnight: Tudor to Jacobean Instrumental Music [PGW]: Classical CD Reviews- Aug 2002 MusicWeb(UK)

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The Queen's Goodnight: Tudor to Jacobean Instrumental Music
John JOHNSON (fl. 1579-1594): A Dump or The Queenes Treble
John DOWLAND (1563-1626): A Pavion Solus cum sola.
ANONYMOUS: Robin is to the Greenwood gone
Edward JOHNSON (fl. 1572-1601): A Medley.
Richard ALLISON (b. 1560-70, d. before 1610): Allison's Knell.
ANONYMOUS: Artheres Dump
Thomas ROBINSON (fl. 1589-1609): Twenty Waies upon the Bels
Thomas ROBINSON: The Queenes good Night
John DOWLAND: The most sacred Queene Elizabeth her Galliard
Giles FARNABY (c. 1563-1640): Rest
Tobias HUME (c. 1579-1645): Lamentations.
William BYRD (1540-1623): The Bells
Tobias HUME: Deth
Tobias HUME: Life
Orlando GIBBONS (1583-1625): Fantasia
William CORKINE (fl. 1610-17) & Orlando GIBBONS: Whoope, doe me no harme good man.
John JOHNSON: The New Hunt is upp
ANONYMOUS: The Scottish Huntsupe & Jigg
Charivari agréable (Susanne Heinrich - Treble, Tenor and Bass Viols; Kah-Ming Ng - Keyboards; Lynda Sayce - Lute)
Recorded at Hertford College, Oxford, April 2002 
SIGNUM SIGCD020 [69.00]

Queen Elizabeth I brought together the finest talent in the land and created collections of consort, lute and keyboard music that are still renowned today. Charivari agréable have arranged for their core trio music that depicts the life of the queen: "music from the court, an exhilarating depiction of a hunt, celebrations from the queen’s coronation and the moving laments on her death" (Sayce). If - depending upon your age - your pulse quickens at the mention of the legendary Cortot/Thibaud/Casals, the Beaux Arts Trio or, say, the Guarneri Trio Prague or Gould Piano Trio of today, allow yourself to consider, in a fully comparable bracket of excellence, Oxford's multinational Heinrich/Ng/Sayce Trio.

You will not be thinking upon those lines if you rely upon Radio 3, as Colin Booth complains in a well argued article in ‘Early Music Review’ about institutional bias which downgrades early music expertise. Yet readers of S&H will know that I have regularly extolled the work of Charivari agréable, a musical jewel in Oxford's crown. Often these players are joined by others to form larger ensembles; here they play solo, duo and trio changes on viols (treble, tenor and bass), virginals, harpsichord, chamber organ and seven-course lute. This ensures textural variety in mainly shortish pieces by ten composers plus the ubiquitous anon (the longest is Hume's Lamentations at seven mins) and they cover the whole gamut of emotions. I did need to alter the volume once between tracks, and there is a minor discrepancy between track numbers on my review copy (correct in the insert). All three are formidable academics as well as being sensitive multi-instrumental virtuosi, and presentation is comprehensive as usual with this series, including details of all the instruments (modern copies) and with an interesting essay by Linda Sayce about the death of Queen Elizabeth I and the transition from Tudor to Jacobean epochs.

Peter Grahame Woolf


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