Monday, November 29, 2010

We are getting ready for a series of Advent Vespers services at the lovely chapel at St. John's Dixie Cemetery. We'll be joined by Alexa Wing, soprano, Graham Robinson, bass, and Justin Haynes on bass viol.

This week we'll be doing a Motet Psalm by William Lawes and some music from the Division Viol by Christopher Simpson.

William Lawes was killed in the Seige of Chester in the English Civil war. His Psalm settings for two trebles or tenors, a bass singer and thorough bass were published in 1648 and are dedicated to Charles I, by then deposed, but not executed, so there is a political sense to the book. As well as William's Psalms there are some by his brother Henry (who edited the book) and several elegies to William by John Wilson, Simon Ives and other composers. You can download pdfs of the part books here. There are a few of the Psalms that have been recorded, but they don't get the attention that reflects their popularity in the mid-17th century.

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