English 17th Century

A Gift of Nature
English Chamber Music of the 17th Century
Trio Sonnerie
Teldec (Das Alte Werk) 90841


  1. Thomas Baltzar (c.1630-1663): A Prelude (violin)
  2. Baltzar: A Division on "John come kiss me now" (violin, viol, organ, theorbo, harp)
  3. Johann Schop (d.1667): Lachrimae (violin, guitar, viol)
  4. Nicola Matteis (c.1675-c.1749): Ground after the Scotch Humour (violin, virginal, guitar)
  5. Anon: A Devision (treble viol, virginal, theorbo, organ)
  6. Matteis: Ground in D (violin, viol, spinet)
  7. William Brade (1560-1630): Coral (violin, organ)

  8. William Lawes: Suite No. 8 in D (violin, viol, organ)
  9. Fantazia
  10. Almaine "la goutte"
  11. Galliard
  12. Christopher Simpson: (c.1605-1669): Prelude (viol)
  13. Simpson: Divisions on a Ground (viol, virginal)
  14. Jenkins: Fantasy in D minor (violin, viol, organ)
  15. Byrd: John come kiss me now (virginal)
  16. Matteis: Passagio a solo (violin, organ, harp, guitar, viol)
  17. Matteis: Allegro prestissimo (violin, organ, harp, guitar, viol)
  18. Matteis: Ground - Adagio piu presto (violin, organ, harp, guitar, viol)
  19. Matteis: Aria amoroso (violin, organ, harp, guitar, viol)
  20. Michel Farinel (b.1649): Faronell's Ground (violin, guitar, spinet, viol)
  21. Anon: Paul's Steeple (violin, viol, spinet, guitar, harp)

Performers: Monica Huggett (violin), Sarah Cunningham (viol), Gary Cooper (virginal, spinet, organ); Stephen Stubbs (theorbo, baroque guitar), Andrew Lawrence-King (harp, organ)

Playing time: 70'

Recording date: December 1992

Instruments: Violin - Hieronymus & Antonius Amati (1618); Viols - Pringle 1982 after Rose (1604), Julier 1992 after Meares (c.1670); Virginal (muselar) - Adlam 1972 after Ruckers (1611); Spinet - Hellon 1979 after Haward (c.1680); Theorbo - Hasenfuss (1990); Guitar - Barber (1992) after Voboam (baroque); Harp (double) - Capp (1991) after Italian; Organ (one stop) - Tickell (1990)

This anthology represents most of the primary English instrumental composers between the time of Byrd & Locke (and beyond). The focus is primarily on the division or variation form.

Another recording featuring some of the virtuoso repertory of this era, but arranged for recorder:

Delight in Disorder
The English Consort of two parts
Pedro Memelsdorff / Andreas Staier
Deutsche Harmonia Mundi 77318

This highlights especially the music of Christopher Simpson who was the acknowledged leader in writing divisions for viols. A more recent recording by a closely related ensemble devoted to his music

Simpson: The Monthes
Virgin Veritas 45281

An anthology of many genres (including songs) of somewhat earlier music:

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

And a couple of general instrumental collections:

A Choice Collection
Music of Purcell's London
Palladian Ensemble
Linn Records 041
The Queen's Goodnight
Allison / Byrd / Corkine / Dowland / Gibbons / Hume / Johnson / Robinson
Charivari Agréable
Signum 020
Elisa is the fayrest Quene
QuintEssential Sackbut and Cornett Ensemble
Chandos Chaconne 0686

Among the composers included, Matteis has developed an increasingly large reputation for his violin writing (in an Italian vein) of late, despite the fact that he was apparently not greatly copied in his own era. Baltzar was the acknowledged leader in solo violin writing prior to the arrival of Matteis, and uses a more "english" style. Brade is an English composer who went to work in Germany and wrote a good deal of lighter "ceremonial" music. Of course, Lawes & Jenkins are also fairly well known today. Recordings devoted to some of these individual composers:

William Lawes: Royall Consort Suites, Volume One
The Greate Consort - Monica Huggett
AS&V Gaudeamus 146
Matteis: Ayres for the violin, Volume 1
Suites and Sonatas
The Arcadian Academy - Nicholas McGegan
Harmonia Mundi USA 907067
Brade: Hamburger Ratsmusik um 1600
Intraden, Paduanen und Galliarden
Hespèrion XX - Jordi Savall
Deutsche Harmonia Mundi 77168 (2 CDs)
Late Consort Music by John Jenkins
The Parley of Instruments - Peter Holman
Hyperion 66604

And a recordings devoted to a related composer:

Consort Music by Peter Philips
The Parley of Instruments - Peter Holman
Hyperion 66240 (English Orpheus, Vol. 24)

An anthology of older recordings of this material:

English Music of the 17th Century
Leonhardt-Consort - Gustav Leonhardt / Studio der Frühen Musik / Concentus Musicus Wien
Teldec (Das Alte Werk) 97942 (2 CDs)

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Todd M. McComb