Aureole etc.




Golden Age singers

Nimbus on-line




Faure songs
Charlotte de Rothschild (soprano);

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett


Some items
to consider


New App by the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra for iOS and Android!

Schumann Symphonies Rattle


Complete Brahms
Bargain price

 

REVIEW



Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and get a free CD

New Releases

Naxos Classical

Hyperion

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
Alto
Arcodiva
Atoll
CDAccord
Cameo Classics
Centaur
Hallé
Hortus
Lyrita
Nimbus
Northern Flowers
Redcliffe
Sheva
Talent
Toccata Classics


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing
sample
 

alternatively
CD: MDT AmazonUK

John JENKINS (1592 - 1678)
The Pleasing Slumber
Pavine [6.18]; Almaine [3.08]; Coranto [1.38]; Saraband [1.12]; Sonata [5.30]; Aire [2.09]; Coranto [1.19]; Saraband [1.08]; Fantasy [5.05]; Ayre [4.10]; Corant [2.25]; The 5 Bells [6.18]; Pavan [3.38]; Ecco Coranto [2.39]; Fantasy [5.49]; Almand [3.44]; Corant [2.16]; Almaine [2.57]; Coranto [1.58]; Saraband [2.04]; The Pleasing Slumber [3.22]
Sophie Gent (violin); Romina Lischka (bass viol, lyra viol); Francois Guerrier (harpsichord, organ); Philippe Pierlot (lyra viol, bass viol)
rec. 16-18 October 2008, church of Basse-Bodeux
FLORA 1809 [68.51]

Experience Classicsonline

John Jenkins was a long-lived composer with an equally long working life: some sixty years. He lived through major changes politically, culturally and musically. Our first certain record of him has him performing in a masque for Charles I. The aged Jenkins played the lyra viol for Charles II, who commented that he did ‘wonders on an inconsiderable instrument’. His long, prolific career as a composer spanned English musical life from William Byrd to Henry Purcell. He was a friend of the composer William Lawes who was killed in battle during the Civil War though his music pushes fewer boundaries than that of Lawes.
 
Essentially conservative in style, Jenkins was influenced by earlier composers such as Ferrabosco (the younger), Coprario and Gibbons. During the Civil War Jenkins was sheltered by a series of Royalist households. Finally in the 1650s he became resident music-master to Lord Dudley North whose son, Roger North, wrote Jenkins’ biography.
 
It was during the Commonwealth that Jenkins wrote a considerable number - over seventy - suites for amateur household players. Household music-making represented almost the only entertainment of that type possible under the regime.
 
Around 57 pieces by Jenkins for lyra viol consort survive. The form of this consort, with a violin (or treble viol) on top, a cello or bass viol on the bottom and the middle filled in by lyra viol and possibly harpsichord, is essentially a transitional form. Earlier in the century, the viol consort, with four equally polyphonic voices, was the norm creating the familiar rather dense texture. Later it would be two violins and bass with harpsichord filling in the middle, so the texture would become far less polyphonic.
 
The lyra viol is not so much an instrument as a way of playing. The lyra viol was generally a bass viol, played with variant tunings and with a part notated in tablature. In these consorts the lyra viol helps fill in the texture in a middle ground between harpsichord and full polyphony. Most of the principal early sources for these seem to have been copied at Kirtling, the home of the Norths.
 
This disc on the Flora label, by an unnamed group, presents us with a selection of Jenkins’ ‘Aires for a treble, lyra, base and harpsechord’. The treble being, generally, the violin though we should remember that Jenkins’ contemporaries would have equally used a treble viol. The lyra viol being Jenkins own instrument, we are allowed to listen to this disc and imagine Jenkins and his employers playing this music together at Kirtling. Incidentally the gatehouse at Kirtling still exists and the gardens are occasionally open under the National Gardens Scheme.
 
Listening to this disc is something of an exercise in the innocent ear. Not only do the ensemble not give themselves a name but there are no liner-notes beyond a single quotation by Roger North. The works are listed by name only, with no keys, no dates and no numbers. With a couple of exceptions, I can’t securely identify the music played. In fact, this doesn’t matter because what we have is a delightfully civilised and intimate entertainment.
 
The textures are very rich, with a surprising depth to the sound. Jenkins’ writing, whilst conservatively civilised, is full of lively quirks which hold the interest. The ensemble vary between using a harpsichord and an organ as the keyboard instrument. Other groups have recorded this type of repertoire using a theorbo. Any of these is probably acceptable. I do find that adding an organ makes the texture a little glutinous.
 
There are three named pieces. The first, The Five Bells, is one of Jenkins’ pieces which refer not only to bell-ringing but also to the relatively new English practice of change-ringing. The piece includes some delightfully bell-like passages though Jenkins is never slavish. The Echo Coranto utilises an obvious, but very charming echo effect. The sequence concludes with the haunting air, The Pleasing Slumber which gives the CD its name.
 
This is a lovely disc, only slightly marred by the paucity of information provided. Simply put it on, relax and listen to some finely intelligent music-making which evokes nicely the mid-17th century style of chamber music.
 
Robert Hugill

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 


EXPLORE MUSICWEB INTERNATIONAL

Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews

 

Discographies
   Composer
      Composer surveys
   National
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
.
Prepared by Michael Herman

The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

Interviews
With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site

Nostalgia

Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Comment
Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure

Announcements

 

Community
Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Reviewers
Pat and present

Helpers invited!

Resources
How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips


Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Publishers
Other links
Newsgroups
Web News sites etc

PotPourri
A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Questionnaire    
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Dictionary
Magazines
Newsfeed  
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools






Untitled Document


Reviews 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 Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.