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The Gift of Music, Keswick House, Branthwaite Road, Workington, Cumbria, CA14 4ED, United Kingdom.

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Good Companye

Good Companye

Ref: CDG1192

23 tracks 61 min
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Great Music from a Tudor Court
A musical journey back in time - to the world of the jesters and music makers of the royal chamber. Stately dances, gentle lute music and wistful love songs make up this programme of beautiful and elaborate sixteenth-century music from the Tudor courts of Henry VIII and Elizabeth I.

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Good Companye
Great Music from a Tudor Court

A musical journey back in time - to the world of the jesters and music makers of the royal chamber. Stately dances, gentle lute music and wistful love songs make up this programme of beautiful and elaborate sixteenth-century music from the Tudor courts of Henry VIII and Elizabeth I.

1 The Honie-suckle Anthony Holborne (fl. 1584-1602)
2 Rest awhile John Dowland (1563-1626)
The Elizabethan Consort
3 Consort XV Henry VIII (1491-1547)
4 Consort IX Anonymous
Lynda Sayce, lute
5 The fruit of love Anthony Holborne
6 My love hath vow'd Philip Rosseter (1567-1623)
The Elizabethan Consort
7 If love now reigned (I) Henry VIII
Martin Souter, clavichord
8 Dulcis amica Johannes Prioris (c.1460-1514)
9 Pastime with good companye Henry VIII
Alamire directed by David Skinner
10 Amoretta Anthony Holborne
11 If my complaints John Dowland
The Elizabethan Consort
12 Consort XVI Henry VIII
13 Consort V Henry VIII
14 Consort X Anonymous
Lynda Sayce, lute
15 Whoever thinks John Dowland
16 The Honie-suckle (II) Anthony Holborne
17 The image of melancholy Anthony Holborne
18 The cradle Anthony Holborne
19 Come again sweet love John Dowland
20 A Voluntarie: for my ladye nevell William Byrd (c.1543-1623)
The Elizabethan Consort
21 Si fortune Anonymous
22 Alles regretz Hayne Van Ghizeghem (c.1445-c.1495)
Martin Souter, clavichord
23 Muy linda Anthony Holborne
The Elizabethan Consort

The Elizabethan Consort
Sara Stowe, voice
Heather Birt, tenor viol and violin
Wendy Hancock, treble viol and recorders
Stewart McCoy, lute
Matthew Spring, lute and bass viol
Martin Souter, virginals

The Tudor courts were amongst the most glamorous and cultured of Europe. Henry VIII was nothing if not a showman, and he brought many musicians to court where they were encouraged to write music and perform it. The King himself was well versed in music and he also played and composed. The grace and beauty of the music he encouraged became a symbol of his authority, an authority which did not go unnoticed in the cities and courts of Europe from whence he was showered with artistic and musical gifts, some of which we have also recorded for The Gift of Music (see, for example, CDG1154). Many of the works on the present album are taken from Henry's own manuscript music collections, including his own instrumental compositions and the works by the Flemish composers Prioris and van Ghizeghem. Henry's most famous vocal work, 'Pastime with good companye', gives the album its title.

Poetry was as important as music at this time, and so we have included several songs in which the composers sought, above all, to express the words in simple, but artful, form. Our songs are mainly Elizabethan: Henry's daughter managed a household and court as sumptuous and elaborate as her father's, and had an ear for a good tune, favouring some composers - such as William Byrd - with riches and privileges, and a great deal more tolerance than she gave many of her non-musical subjects. Anthony Holborne's instrumental consort music gives the album a fine start, and we include famous songs by Rossetter and Dowland.

Rest awhile, you cruel cares
Be not more severe than love.
Beauty kills and beauty spares,
And sweet smiles sad sighs remove:
Laura, fair queen of my delight,
Come grant me love in love's despite,
And if I fail ever to honour thee,
Let this heavenly light I see,
Be as dark as hell to me.

If I speak, my words want weight,
Am I mute, my heart doth break,
If I sigh, she fears deceit,
Sorrow then for me must speak:
Cruel unkind, with favour view
The wound that first was made by you:
And if my torments feigned be,
Let this heavenly light I see,
Be as dark as hell to me.

Never hour of pleasing rest
Shall revive my dying ghost,
Till my soul hath repossess'd
The sweet hope which love hath lost:
Laura redeem the soul that dies,
By fury of thy murdering eyes:
And if it prove unkind to thee,
Let this heavenly light I see,
Be as dark as hell to me.


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