Her Leaves be Green
Miss Anne Greene
Coy Daphne fled John Danyel (1564-c1626)
Eies looke no more Danyel
Lyke as the Lute Danyel
Chast Daphne fled Danyel
Gaspara Stampa 1523-1554
Amor, lo stato tuo After Vincenzo Galilei (c.1520 –1591)
Gagliarda La Gasparina Giulio Abondante (fl1546 -1587)
Excerpt from Rilke’s Duino Elegies
Oimè, le notti mie colme di gioia, Cosimo Bottegari (1564-1620)
Songs for the Egerton Sisters
Sweet stay awhile Henry Lawes (1595-1622)
Coranto René Saman (fl 1610-31)
The God of love my shepherd is Lawes
Countess of Pembrooks Funeralls Anthony Holborne (c1545-1602)
Tavola - In quel gelato core Lawes
Before the Restoration the English stage was not a place where the educated woman was permitted to exercise her skills in the sister arts of rhetoric and music. The more intimate and controlable domestic performance space was hers to command.
John Danyel was the brother of the poet and playwright Samuel, and ‘Lyke as the Lute’ is a lyric by him. John’s Songs for the Lute Viol and Voice of 1606 is dedicated to Mistress Anne Greene, the daughter of a wealthy, if not very well-pedigreed knight, Sir William Greene, who employed Danyel as a household musician. A few lines from his verse dedication will make clear the function of the songs in the collection.
To Mrs. Anne Grene…
That which was onely privately composed,
For your delight, Faire Ornament of Worth,
Is here, come to bee publikely disclosed:
And to an universall view put forth.
Before his court engagement Henry Lawes also worked as a household musician, for the more illustrious Egerton family. His duties included teaching the daughters of John Egerton, the Earl of Bridgewater. Lawes’ dedicated his Ayres and Dialogues of 1653 is to Alice and Mary, by then Countess of Carbery and Lady Herbert of Cherbury. The dedication says of the songs ‘most of them were composed when I was employed to attend to your Ladishipp’s education in musick’. Along with a song from that print, we present a psalm paraphrase by George Herbert, Mary’s brother-in-law, solos from Lord Herbert’s Lutebook, and an ayre from Lawes’ autograph songbook. Since ‘Sweet stay awhile’ preceeds the songs written for Milton’s Comus we can presume it was written when he was still teaching the girls.
Gaspara Stampa and her sister were moved to Venice when her father died and her mother exploited the children’s musical and poetic talents as she opened her house as a salon. We set two of Gaspara’s poems to extant melodic formulas that fit any sonnets as was perhaps the most common way of hearing sung poetry in mid-16th century Italy. We also present a much later poet’s lines on her to a plainchant melody.