Peter PHILIPS (1560/61-1628) Complete Keyboard Works: Vol. 1 Fantasia in F (1582) [05:00] Fece da Voi a. 6 in G (1596) [02:59] Pavana Dolorosa and Galiarda Dolorosa in C (1593)
[09:42] Bon jour mon Cueur di Orlando in G (1602) Galliard in a minor [01:59] Chi fara fede al Cielo. di Alessandro Striggio in G [05:33] Le Rossignuol in C (after Lassus) (1595) [03:43] Almande in d minor [03:24] Galliard in a minor [01:38] Margotte Laborez in G (after Lassus) (1605) [01:57] Pavana (1580) and Galliarda in G [06:24] [Den lustelijken mei] in G [01:54] Almande d'amor in g minor [02:43] Che fa in a minor (after Marenzio) [01:51] Deccio Dunque partire in d minor (after Marenzio)
[07:44] Veni Sancte Spiritus in C [04:48] Benedicam Dominum in g minor (after Vecchi) [05:09] Complete Keyboard Works: Vol. 2 Fantasia in G [08:57] Ecco l'aurora Luca Marenz[io] à in G [03:10] Pavana Anglica. Thomas Tomkins. Collerirt in a minor [07:21] Liquide perle amor (Luca Marenzio) in G [02:02] Galliarda in g minor [01:56] Amarilli di Julio Romano in g minor [03:39] Tirsi. Di Luca Marenzio in E [07:19] Passamezzo Pavana (1592) [08:20] Galiarda Passamezzo in g minor [04:05] Galiarde (Passamezzo) in g minor [03:16] Pavana Pagget & Galiarda in c minor [10:53] Fantasie in G (after Alessandro Striggio: Chi farà fede
al Cielo) [05:28] Madrigal Horatio Vechi. Se desio di fugir in
d minor [02:20] Fantasie in d minor [03:11]
Rampe (clavichord, virginals, harpsichord, organ)
rec. April, August 2004, St. Andreaskirche in Soest-Ostönnen,
the St. Stephanskirche in Tangermünde and the Germanisches
Nationalmuseum in Nuremberg, Germany. DDD MUSIKPRODUKTION
DABRINGHAUS UND GRIMM
Vol. 1: MDG 3411257-2 [71:27]
Vol. 2: MDG 3411435-2 [73:24]
Peter Philips often referred to himself as English, but in the
English musical landscape of around 1600 he was something of
He was Catholic, which made his position as a musician rather
difficult, but unlike most other Catholic English composers
he left the country, and worked on the continent, mainly
in the Southern Netherlands, which were under Spanish rule
and therefore Catholic. Another specific feature of Philips
is his acquaintance with Italian music - for instance Palestrina,
Anerio and Marenzio - which is reflected in his own compositions.
The exact date of his birth is not known, but from his certificate
of residence in Brussels one can conclude that he has been
born in 1560 or 1561. The first trace of Philips' musical
activities is in St Paul's Cathedral in London, where he
sang as a choirboy. He seems to have been a pupil of William
Byrd. In 1580 he composed his first piece of music, a pavan
which was later included in the Fitzwilliam Virginal Book.
In 1582 he fled the country, travelled to Brussels and then
to Rome. Here he was under the protection of Cardinal Alessandro
Farnese, and acted as an organist of the English College.
From 1585 he travelled through Europe with another English
refugee, Lord Thomas Paget. The Pavana Pagget and Galiarda
(vol. 2, tracks 13/14) may have been written at the occasion
of his death in 1590. In 1591 Philips settled in Antwerp,
where he was teaching the keyboard, married and established
relations with key figures in society. Although he lived
and worked on the continent and never returned to his native
country, his music was known in England, as the English poet
and writer Henry Peacham testifies in 'The Compleat Gentleman'
(1627): "Hee hath sent us over many excellent Songs,
as well Motets as Madrigals; he affecteth altogether the
In particular his vocal works were very popular and were frequently
printed. In his sacred works he gradually moves from the
'prima prattica' to the 'seconda prattica' as his motets
with basso continuo show. Unfortunately not very much of
his vocal music has been recorded. His keyboard works has
fared a little better, but Siegbert Rampe nevertheless thought
it necessary to record the entire output for keyboard on
two discs. His recording also contains those pieces whose
authenticity has not as yet been established.
Philips' acquaintance with Italian music which Henry Peacham referred
to is not only reflected in his vocal output but in his keyboard
works as well. A look at the tracklists is sufficient to
see traces of that: many pieces are based on material from
madrigals and motets by Italian composers. In addition he
uses pieces by Lassus, the most famous continental composer
of the late 16th century. In comparison the number of works
which are rooted in the style of the English virginalists
is rather limited. There is only one piece which is based
on a lute song (Galliarda in g minor; vol. 2, track 5), but
otherwise they consist mainly of pairs of pavans and galliards.
Some of them belong to the best ever written, like the Pavana
and Galliarda Dolorosa (vol. 1, tracks 3/4). These, and his
other keyboard works, support Henry Peacham's view that Philips
was "one of the greatest Masters of Musicke in Europe".
One of the most interesting aspects of these recordings is the choice
of instruments. Most striking is the use of a clavichord,
an instrument which is very seldom used in this kind of repertoire.
In the booklet Siegbert Rampe argues: "Scholars have
recently found that not only the intabulations, but other
keyboard compositions as well were intended to provide material
for teaching improvisation on the clavichord or pedal clavichord
- the latter being the normal instrument for teaching and
practising the organ at the time. This is indicated by the
fact that the keyboard compass of the works mostly begins
at D or C in the bass and never exceeds a" in the treble.
With the single exception of Fece da Voi a. 6, the
same applies to Philips' keyboard music." The clavichord
used at that time is not comparable with the clavichord mostly
used in the 18th century, which is first and foremost associated
with the style of the Empfindsamkeit (Carl Philipp
Emanuel Bach and others). Here two types of clavichord are
used, both described by Michael Praetorius (1619), which
are different from each other in sound and character.
Rampe also uses a harpsichord, the oldest playable Ruckers which is
still almost in its original state, and a virginal by Artus
Gheerdinck, built in Amsterdam in 1605, which is entirely
in its original state. In addition two organs are used. The
first is one of Germany's most famous historical organs,
in the St Stephen's Church in Tangermünde, built in 1623/24.
The other one is situated in Soest/Ostönnen, and was assumed
to date from the early 18th century. Fairly recently it was
discovered that about 80 percent of the pipework and six
of the eight registers date from the 15th century, which
makes it one of the oldest playable organs in the world.
All the instruments are tuned in a mean-tone temperament
of some sort, whereas the organ in Soest is referred to as
being tuned "after Arnold [sic] Schlick (1512)".
I have greatly enjoyed this recording. Siegbert Rampe plays very well,
even though I sometimes feel his performance tends to be
a little too academic - more so on the first than on the
second disc. There is enough variety in the programme to
keep the listener's attention. One of the greatest delights
of this project is the use of different instruments and their
superb quality. One of the things one has to consider is
the strong difference between them: it needs a little time
for the ears to switch from the loudness of the organ and
the harpsichord to the much softer and more sensitive sound
of the clavichords. Maybe it would be a good idea to programme
the tracks according to the instruments used.
With these two discs Siegbert Rampe has erected a monument to Peter
Philips' skills as a composer and player of the keyboard.
It is to be hoped that it will stimulate other musicians
to give proper attention to other aspects of his oeuvre.
from previous months Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the
discs reviewed. details We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to
which you refer.