Go back to index of previous meetings.

Saturday 9th January 2021 (virtual only)

Byrd Vidimus stellam or YouTube S/A ATB
'We have seen his star in the east, and have come with gifts to adore the Lord'.

Wilbye Draw on sweet night or YouTube SSATTB
This gem of a piece, characterised by a wistful melancholy, is a great favourite of ours and has often been requested ever since its introduction to our repertory a few years ago; I thought it might be cheering to look at it again. It is one of the longest and a contender for the greatest of all English madrigals.

Wilbye Thus saith my Cloris bright or YouTube SATB
John Wilbye, described by a contemporary as "inferior to none in the world... for depth of skill and richness of conceit", is probably the most famous of all the English madrigalists, with a style characterized by delicate voice-writing and acute sensitivity to text. He spent most of his life in the service of the Kytson family of Hengrave Hall, a recusant household not far from Bury St. Edmunds. His First Set of English Madrigals to 3, 4, 5, and 6 voices was published in 1598 with a dedication to "the Right Worshipful and Vallerous Knight Sir Charles Cavendish" who was related by marriage to the Kytsons. There are 30 madrigals in the set.
Wilbye, like many of his older contemporaries, was inspired by Italian musical models and poems. Thus saith my Cloris bright is a paraphrase of a poem by Guarini, set by Marenzio and reprinted in the second set of Musica Transalpina as So saith my fair.

Morley Sing we and chant it or YouTube SSATB
Thomas Morley (1557-1602), a student of William Byrd and is known as the master of the English madrigal style. His books of Canzonets, Madrigalls, and Balletts, published in the 1590s, contain a mixture of his own works as well transcriptions of pieces by Italian madrigalists. Morley's own lively, light style was taken up by other English composers and in 1601 he commissioned and published The Triumphs of Oriana, an anthology of madrigals by English composers in honor of the queen, Elizabeth I.
Sing we and chant it advises us to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of friendship and youth. A lively ballet, it was directly influenced by Gastoldi's A lieta vita or YouTube

Norcome With Angel's face and brightness or YouTube SSTTB
Norcome (sometimes spelled Norcombe) was lutenist to King Christian IV of Denmark. This contribution to The Triumphs of Oriana is not one we would normally sing, because of its voicing, but we can take this opportunity to have a look at it. As expected there are the usual lovely instances of word-painting and scene-setting perhaps have a look at the score in advance and see what you can spot before we go over them together at the meeting?

Weelkes Thus sings my dearest jewel or YouTube and YouTube (men) SSA or TTB
Weelkes' fondness for light madrigals and ballets reveal how he was indebted to Morley. The form of this charming short piece combines the characteristics of both ballet and canzonet. It has a certain melancholy to it which suggests perhaps that the protagonist might not fully return his love's affections?

Go back to index of previous meetings.

Saturday 9th January 2021 (virtual only)

Byrd Vidimus stellam or YouTube S/A ATB
'We have seen his star in the east, and have come with gifts to adore the Lord'.

Wilbye Draw on sweet night or YouTube SSATTB
This gem of a piece, characterised by a wistful melancholy, is a great favourite of ours and has often been requested ever since its introduction to our repertory a few years ago; I thought it might be cheering to look at it again. It is one of the longest and a contender for the greatest of all English madrigals.

Wilbye Thus saith my Cloris bright or YouTube SATB
John Wilbye, described by a contemporary as "inferior to none in the world... for depth of skill and richness of conceit", is probably the most famous of all the English madrigalists, with a style characterized by delicate voice-writing and acute sensitivity to text. He spent most of his life in the service of the Kytson family of Hengrave Hall, a recusant household not far from Bury St. Edmunds. His First Set of English Madrigals to 3, 4, 5, and 6 voices was published in 1598 with a dedication to "the Right Worshipful and Vallerous Knight Sir Charles Cavendish" who was related by marriage to the Kytsons. There are 30 madrigals in the set.
Wilbye, like many of his older contemporaries, was inspired by Italian musical models and poems. Thus saith my Cloris bright is a paraphrase of a poem by Guarini, set by Marenzio and reprinted in the second set of Musica Transalpina as So saith my fair.

Morley Sing we and chant it or YouTube SSATB
Thomas Morley (1557-1602), a student of William Byrd and is known as the master of the English madrigal style. His books of Canzonets, Madrigalls, and Balletts, published in the 1590s, contain a mixture of his own works as well transcriptions of pieces by Italian madrigalists. Morley's own lively, light style was taken up by other English composers and in 1601 he commissioned and published The Triumphs of Oriana, an anthology of madrigals by English composers in honor of the queen, Elizabeth I.
Sing we and chant it advises us to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of friendship and youth. A lively ballet, it was directly influenced by Gastoldi's A lieta vita or YouTube

Norcome With Angel's face and brightness or YouTube SSTTB
Norcome (sometimes spelled Norcombe) was lutenist to King Christian IV of Denmark. This contribution to The Triumphs of Oriana is not one we would normally sing, because of its voicing, but we can take this opportunity to have a look at it. As expected there are the usual lovely instances of word-painting and scene-setting perhaps have a look at the score in advance and see what you can spot before we go over them together at the meeting?

Weelkes Thus sings my dearest jewel or YouTube and YouTube (men) SSA or TTB
Weelkes' fondness for light madrigals and ballets reveal how he was indebted to Morley. The form of this charming short piece combines the characteristics of both ballet and canzonet. It has a certain melancholy to it which suggests perhaps that the protagonist might not fully return his love's affections?

Go back to index of previous meetings.

Saturday 9th January 2021 (virtual only)

Byrd Vidimus stellam or YouTube S/A ATB
'We have seen his star in the east, and have come with gifts to adore the Lord'.

Wilbye Draw on sweet night or YouTube SSATTB
This gem of a piece, characterised by a wistful melancholy, is a great favourite of ours and has often been requested ever since its introduction to our repertory a few years ago; I thought it might be cheering to look at it again. It is one of the longest and a contender for the greatest of all English madrigals.

Wilbye Thus saith my Cloris bright or YouTube SATB
John Wilbye, described by a contemporary as "inferior to none in the world... for depth of skill and richness of conceit", is probably the most famous of all the English madrigalists, with a style characterized by delicate voice-writing and acute sensitivity to text. He spent most of his life in the service of the Kytson family of Hengrave Hall, a recusant household not far from Bury St. Edmunds. His First Set of English Madrigals to 3, 4, 5, and 6 voices was published in 1598 with a dedication to "the Right Worshipful and Vallerous Knight Sir Charles Cavendish" who was related by marriage to the Kytsons. There are 30 madrigals in the set.
Wilbye, like many of his older contemporaries, was inspired by Italian musical models and poems. Thus saith my Cloris bright is a paraphrase of a poem by Guarini, set by Marenzio and reprinted in the second set of Musica Transalpina as So saith my fair.

Morley Sing we and chant it or YouTube SSATB
Thomas Morley (1557-1602), a student of William Byrd and is known as the master of the English madrigal style. His books of Canzonets, Madrigalls, and Balletts, published in the 1590s, contain a mixture of his own works as well transcriptions of pieces by Italian madrigalists. Morley's own lively, light style was taken up by other English composers and in 1601 he commissioned and published The Triumphs of Oriana, an anthology of madrigals by English composers in honor of the queen, Elizabeth I.
Sing we and chant it advises us to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of friendship and youth. A lively ballet, it was directly influenced by Gastoldi's A lieta vita or YouTube

Norcome With Angel's face and brightness or YouTube SSTTB
Norcome (sometimes spelled Norcombe) was lutenist to King Christian IV of Denmark. This contribution to The Triumphs of Oriana is not one we would normally sing, because of its voicing, but we can take this opportunity to have a look at it. As expected there are the usual lovely instances of word-painting and scene-setting perhaps have a look at the score in advance and see what you can spot before we go over them together at the meeting?

Weelkes Thus sings my dearest jewel or YouTube and YouTube (men) SSA or TTB
Weelkes' fondness for light madrigals and ballets reveal how he was indebted to Morley. The form of this charming short piece combines the characteristics of both ballet and canzonet. It has a certain melancholy to it which suggests perhaps that the protagonist might not fully return his love's affections?