Simpson: The Monthes

Simpson: The Monthes
Virgin Veritas 45281


  1. January in C
  2. February in C
  3. March in C
  4. Ground in A minor
  5. April in A minor
  6. May in A minor
  7. June in A
  8. Pavan in D
  9. Almaine in D
  10. Courante in D
  11. July in D minor
  12. August in G minor
  13. September in G minor
  14. Ground in Bb
  15. October in F
  16. November in F
  17. December in D

Performers: Monica Huggett (violin), Emilia Benjamin (violin), Sarah Cunningham (viol), Gary Cooper (organ)

Playing time: 60'

Recording date: November 1996 (Chesterton)

Christopher Simpson (c.1605-1669) is perhaps best known for his treatises on music theory and viol playing, especially improvising divisions, but his other unpublished compositions have been relatively neglected. The Monthes (c.1669), which also have a companion set called The Seasons, are a series of twelve fantasias for two trebles and bass part, including a real continuo. They are apparently the first such works in England. The style is a composite of such innovative elements as continuo and the programmatic titles with more old-fashioned compositional idioms.

Other recordings devoted to this and similar music:

Simpson: The Seasons, The Months, Divisions on a Ground
Watillon, Heumann, Franklin, Spaeter, Guglielmi, et al.
Alpha 088
Simpson: The 4 Seasons
Les Voix Humaines
Atma 22182

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Todd M. McComb