English madrigals

Draw on Sweet Night
English Madrigals
Hilliard Ensemble - Paul Hillier
EMI Reflexe 49197

Reissued in Virgin Veritas Edition 61671.


  1. Morley: O greefe even on the Bud (à 5)
  2. Morley: When loe by breake of morning (à 2)
  3. Morley: Aprill is in my Mistris face (à 4)
    Weelkes: Thule, the period of Cosmographie (à 6)
  4. (first part)
  5. (second part)
  6. Morley: Sweet nimphe come to thy lover (à 2)
    Wilbye: Sweet hony sucking bees (à 5)
  7. (first part)
  8. (second part)
  9. Morley: Miraculous love's wounding (à 2)
  10. Wilbye: Adew sweet Amarillis (à 4)
  11. Bennet: Weepe o mine eyes (à 4)
  12. Gibbons: The silver Swanne (à 5)
    Weelkes: O Care thou wilt dispatch mee (à 5)
  13. (first part)
  14. (second part)
  15. Weelkes: Since Roben Hood (à 3)
  16. Morley: Fyre and lightning (à 2)
  17. Weelkes: Strike it up Tabor (à 3)
  18. Tomkins: See, see, the shepheards Queene (à 5)
  19. Ward: Come sable night (à 6)
  20. Vautor: Sweet Suffolke Owle (à 5)
  21. Morley: In nets of golden wyers (à 2)
  22. Wilbye: Draw on sweet night (à 6)

Performers: Lynne Dawson (soprano), Gillian Fisher (soprano), David James (alto), Rogers Covey-Crump (tenor), John Potter (tenor), Paul Hillier (bass)

Playing time: 55'

Recording date: May 1987

This is a superb program, illustrating all the major English madrigal composers of the era. The madrigal took on an amazing life in its transplanted home.

Unusually for the Hilliard Ensemble, the cast on this recording includes two female sopranos, yielding a small mixed choir.

Another important madrigal composer was John Ward (1571-1638). One recording:

Sweet Philomel
Madrigals by John Ward
Consort of Musicke - Anthony Rooley
Hyperion 66256

The madrigal tradition coexisted with other related traditions, including the lute song (cf. Dowland), consort song and various instrumental genres.

A mixed vocal & instrumental survey, featuring keyboard and consort works along with madrigals:

Music from the Time of Elizabeth I
Academy of Ancient Music - Christopher Hogwood
L'Oiseau Lyre 433 193

Another worthwhile vocal survey, covering a much broader repertory:

Ars Britannica
Old Hall Manuscript / Madrigals / Lute Songs
Pro Cantione Antigua
Teldec (Das Alte Werk) 46004

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Todd M. McComb