Images of Melancholy – The English Fantasy Consort of Viols (RVRCD57)

£10.00

THE ENGLISH FANTASY CONSORT OF VIOLS

Fiona Huggett – treble viol
Angela Voss – treble & tenor viols
Pamela Cresswell – tenor viol
Rosemary Thorndycraft – bass viol
Imogen Seth-Smith – bass viol

with:
Lynda Sayce – lute, Andrew Wilson-Dickson – organ,
John Line – reader

Category:

Description

1 THE TEARES OF THE MUSES Anthony Holborne (1599)
1’.44″
2 READING Corpus Hermeticum Book I, 1-4 1’.37″
3 THE IMAGE OF MELANCHOLY Anthony Holborne (1599)
4’.45″
4 READING C.H.I, 4-5 1’.47″
5 FANTASIA ‘LACHRIMAE’ Andrew Wilson-Dickson (1975) 5’.33″
6 READING C.H.I, 6-7 1’.47″
7 LACHRIMAE PAVAN JOHN DOWLAND Giles Farnaby (d.1640) 6’.10″
8 READING C.H.I, 8-10 1’.47″
9 SEMPER DOWLAND, SEMPER DOLENS John Dowland (c.1604) 3’.30″
10 READING C.H.I, 11-12 1’.43″
11 PAVAN LACHRIMAE Thomas Weelkes (d.1623)
2’.39″
12 READING C.H.I, 13-14 1’.22″
13 LACHRIMAE ANTIQUAE John Dowland (1604) 4’.14″
14 READING C.H.I, 14-16 1’.43″
15 LACHRIMAE ANTIQUAE NOVAE John Dowland (1604) 4’.02″
16 READING C.H.I, 17-19 2’.16″
17 LACHRIMAE GEMENTES John Dowland (1604) 3’.57″
18 READING C.H.I, 20,23 1’.43″
19 LACHRIMAE TRISTES John Dowland (1604) 4’.21″
20 READING C.H.I, 24-25 1’.46″
21 LACHRIMAE COACTAE John Dowland (1604) 4’.04″
22 READING C.H.I, 26 1’.11″
23 LACHRIMAE AMANTIS John Dowland (1604)
4’.27″
24 READING C.H.I, 30 1’.15″
25 LACHRIMAE VERAE John Dowland (1604) 4’.28″

NOTES

MUSIC BY JOHN DOWLAND, ANTHONY HOLBORNE, GILES FARNABY AND ANDREW WILSON-DICKSON WITH READINGS FROM CORPUS HERMETICUM.

In Elizabethan and Jacobean England the artistic cult of melancholy was not just an aesthetic conceit, but arose from ancient philosophical speculation on the dual nature of the human soul, which struggled to find its divine nature in the darkness of the material world. One of the most influental texts was the Corpus Hermeticum attributed to the legendary Egyptian sage Hermes Trismegistus, and handed down in the Renaissance via the translation of Marsilio Ficino. In this recording, we alternate readings from this text with music based on John Dowland’s famous Lachrimae theme, including his Lachrimae or Seaven Teares of 1604 for five viols and lute, and other pieces by Giles Farnaby, Anthony Holborne, Thomas Weelkes and the contemporary composer Andrew Wilson-Dickson.

Our programme evokes a journey of the soul, from its creation to its return to God, and Dowland reminds us that “though the title doth promise teares, unfit guests in these joyfull times, yet no doubt pleaseant are the teares which Musicke weepes, neither are teares shed alwayes in sorrowe, but sometime in joy and gladnesse.”

BIOGRAPHY

The English Fantasy Consort of Viols
The English Fantasy Consort of Viols was formed in 1993. Its members are all professional performers in the field of Renaissance and Baroque music, specialising in both the viol and violin families. Their recording of Thomas Lupo Consort Music for ASV (1996) was highly acclaimed; reviewers commenting that “the tracks are remarkable for the ensemble’s purity of tone and intonation” and “the group plays with a delightful sweetness and impeccable ensemble” (Classic CD).

Lynda Sayce
Lynda Sayce read Music at Oxford University then studied lute with Jakob Lindberg at the Royal College of Music. She performs regularly with many leading ensembles, including Charivari Agréable, the New London Consort and the King’s Consort, and has recorded extensively for radio, television and many record labels. She is currently writing a book on the history of the theorbo, and is the author of several articles in the Revised New Grove Dictionary of Music and other music and art periodicals.

Andrew Wilson-Dickson
Andrew Wilson-Dickson trained as a pianist and organist (with John Lill and Nicholas Danby) at the Universities of Cambridge and York while maintaining a strong interest in composition. His fascination with the sound world of early instruments developed in the 70s and has created much wine suitable for these old bottles, particularly music for viols: consorts, solos, accompanied works, even opera scores. He is Head of Early Music at the Welsh College of Music and Drama.The Fantasia ‘Lachrimae’ is one of series of consort pieces for viols for 4, 5, and 6 parts written in the mid-70s. Its modality and contrapuntal inclinations (including palindromes and change-ringing patterns) are typical of the composer’s preoccupations at that time.

John Line
John Line, known for his many television appearances, has been an actor since the early fifties. Recently he played in Robeson at the Young Vic and recorded The Tempest in recital at the Barbican for Radio 3.

 

REVIEWS

MUSIC BY JOHN DOWLAND, ANTHONY HOLBORNE, GILES FARNABY AND ANDREW WILSON-DICKSON WITH READINGS FROM CORPUS HERMETICUM.