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July 6, 2018

Saturday morning quotes 7.7: Sighs & tears

Following our theme of English songs for solo voice and lute, and on the heels of last week’s introduction of William Byrd’s “Susanna faire“, today we feature our new recording of John Dowland’s “If that a Sinners sighes be Angels foode” from his final book of songs, A Pilgrimes Solace, published in 1612. Dowland (1563 […]

November 7, 2015

Saturday morning quotes 5.25: Dowland leads the way

Those of us interested in the more obscure corners of historical music from Elizabethan times owe a debt of gratitude to Edmund Horace Fellowes (1870 – 1951).  Fellowes unearthed, studied, transcribed and published an enormous amount of historical music, including Tudor Church Music, madrigals, and thirty-two volumes of English lute songs, making all available for […]

April 4, 2015

Saturday morning quotes 4.47: Class in session

Let’s not mince words: Early music bears NO ancestral relationship to what today’s historians and hype-merchants market as “classical” music.  Early music was always functional music of some sort, whether composed for devotional or liturgical purposes, social dancing, entertainment for wealthy patrons, as a domestic pastime, as a theoretical exercise, or as the common indulgence […]

July 5, 2014

Saturday morning quotes 4.8: Name that tune

“Whats in a name? That which we call a Rose By any other name would smell as sweet.” – Juliet, from An Excellent conceited Tragedie of Romeo and Iuliet As it hath been often (with great applause) plaid publiquely, by the Right Honourable the L. of Hunsdon his seruants. (II, ii) A name can make […]

April 4, 2014

Saturday morning quotes 3.47: Edward Doughtie (1935 – 26 March 2014)

With much regret we report the sad news of Edward Doughtie’s passing on 26th March 2014. A frequent correspondent and a mentor who treated us as colleagues, Ed shared his knowledge and wisdom with an old-school sense of decorum. With gently wry suggestions and kind supportive words, he helped add substance to our understanding of […]

January 18, 2014

Saturday morning quotes 3.36: Chant and lute

Mignarda’s IndieGoGo Campaign What we call Gregorian Chant is a rare and precious link to our remote past, but as the embodiment of Christian liturgical practice, is also a living, breathing form of worship still in use today.  An enormous body of work, chant both describes the outline and fills in the minute details of […]

December 22, 2012

Saturday quotes 2.31 Dowland Part 9

“…Whether by Dowland or some other author the words [to ‘Flow my teares, fall from your springs’] are fitted to the melody with an exquisitely sensitive ear for the rhythm and rise and fall of the spoken word. “ – Diana Poulton (John Dowland, University of California Press, Berkeley, second edition, 1982, p. 257) We end […]

December 15, 2012

Saturday quotes 2.30 Dowland Part 8

Diana Poulton’s excellent biographical study (John Dowland, University of California Press, Berkeley, second edition, 1982) presents the results of a lifetime of painstaking research into the man and his music, much of it gained through examination of primary sources.  While the book effectively lays out the life of a well-travelled and highly respected musician whose […]

December 8, 2012

Saturday quotes 2.29 Dowland’s training Part 7

 “A historian therefore, in all that he relates, should take care to be guided in his judgment by the genuine and real circumstances of every action…” – Polybius (c. 200 – 118 BC), The Histories Historical research should only present the unvarnished truth based on indisputable fact, despite the sometimes uncomfortable reality of deeds done […]

November 17, 2012

Saturday quotes 2.26 Dowland’s training Part 5

Today’s post continues our speculative probe into John Dowland’s background, examining the conditions and events that may have contributed to form the composer’s persona and, by extension, his unique and intricate musical style. Our last installment mentioned Dowland’s tenure as servant to Sir Henry Cobham, Ambassador to France.  We discussed the fine line between diplomatic […]