> The Queen's Goodnight [KM]: Classical CD Reviews- Nov 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)
Rec: April 2002, Hertford College, Oxford,
SIGNUM SIGCD020 [69.00]


Music in England came alive under the reign of Elizabeth I. Not only did the Queen herself play music, but her love for music fostered one of the most vibrant periods of musical creation and variety in any European country. New genres were created or refined: the "lyra way", solo viol music, virginal music, the song for lute and voice, and consort music for groups of viols. While some of these forms existed before the Queen’s reign, they developed so much under her patronage that they are now identified with this period.
This disc contains a selection of instrumental works from the period, by both well-known composers (Byrd, Hume, Dowland, Farnaby) and others who have left less of a mark on musical history. Charivari Agréable is one of Britain’s finest small early music ensembles, and the attention they pay to the music, as well as their choice of works for this disc, is exemplary.
The music here ranges from the melancholy, almost Irish-sounding anonymous tune for viol and lute Robin is to the Greenwood gone, which has a haunting, poignant melody, to solo works by the great viol composer Tobias Hume, to keyboard works by Gibbons and Byrd. The music is played alternately by solo instruments, or by combinations of two or three of the musicians: solos for lute, harpsichord, organ or viol, are followed by ensemble pieces in a well-chosen order. What stands out in this disc is the overwhelmingly lachrymose tone (if one may use that word) that pervades this music. While this was a period of excitement and energy, the music often tends to have a sad sound.
This is a wonderfully varied programme of music, played by brilliant musicians. Both the selection of the music and its performance is moving and admirable. This is a fine disc for those who appreciate Elizabethan music, or a superb introduction for those interested in discovering its riches.

Kirk McElhearn

see also review by Peter Grahame Woolf


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