A Kingly Entertainment in a Forraine ClimateMusic for voice, violin band and lute by John Dowland, Thomas Simpson and members of Elizabeth I’s dance band.
Je file Philip van Wilder (d. 1553)
Dye not before thy day John Dowland (1563-1626)
Paduan – (Mistress Nichol’s) Alman Dowland, arr. Thomas Simpson (1582-1628)
What if I never speede Dowland
Ambroses Pavin – Galliard to the pavin before Ambrose Lupo (d. 1591)
Markantonyes Gallyard Mark Anthony Galliardello (d. 1585)
Lady if you so spight me Dowland
Lachrimae Pavaen Dowland, arr. Johann Schop (c. 1590-1667)
If fluds of teares Dowland
Weepe you no more Dowland
Ronda – Represa – Brandenberges – Represa Anon. from the Lumley Partbooks
Ricercar (on Robin is to the Greenwood Gone) Simpson
Sweete stay a while Dowland
Thou mightie God Dowland
Pavana – Gallyard – Dance Anon. from the Lumley Partbooks
Cleare or cloudie Dowland
This program presents music by and from the repertoire of musical exiles and migrants to England, and from it.
The string playing families, such as the Lupos and the Galliardellos, who turned up at Henry VIII’s court appear to have been Jews who were escaping resurgent persecution in Italy. The violin band that played the music in the Lumley Partbooks, a workaday manuscript collection of Elizabethan dance band music, laid the foundations for English pre-eminence in such repertoire so that, by the beginning of the 17th century English string players such as William Brade and Thomas Simpson were exported back to the continent, leading string ensembles in North European courts. Thomas Simpson’s first employment was as musician to Frederick, Elector of Palatine, who later married the most important English export of the 17th century, James I’s daughter Elizabeth. Simpson later worked for Count Ernst III of Holstein-Schaumburg and the King of Denmark. His last publication of string band music uses the new Italianate ‘string quartet’ scoring of two violins, viola and bass violin, and has a figured bass part, here realised on the theorbo. This large continuo lute is said to have been invented for a Medici wedding but was pan-European by the 1620s.
Perhaps the most famous Englishman abroad was John Dowland, whose music can be found as far afield as the Ukraine. He blamed his inability to find work at home on his lukewarm Catholicism, though it is far more likely to have been a product his lack of dependability and Elizabethan frugality. Indeed, his apparent early association with Robert Devereaux, Earl of Essex, would have been enough to make him suspect by 1595, as Essex’s position at court became precarious. Perhaps Dowland was trying to switch alleigence when he wrote a letter from Frankfurt to Essex’s nemesis, Sir Robert Cecil. In the letter Dowland provides a resume of all the European courts he has been engaged at, claims to have been offered a job in Rome and provides details of a secret Jesuit mission to England he has come across in Florence. Could the letter be a coded offer to become an agent for Cecil, who was Elizabeths’s spymaster? Certainly other lutenists, Alfonso Ferrabosco and singer-lutenist Nicholas Lanier for instance, were spies, since they had oppurtunity to travel and get access to the most intimate chambers of princes with their diminutive voiced instrument. After working for Maurice, Landgrave of Hesse and at Wolfenbüttel, Dowland obtained a position at the Danish court. but took many pre-paid leaves of absence to see publications through the press at home, and no doubt to lobby for a position for a lute position at the English court. He was dismissed by Christian IV’s civil servants and, back home, was finally appointed one of the king’s lutes.
Violinist Johann Schop never visited England, but learned his trade from English violinists at Hamburg and Copenhagen. Is it too much to draw a line from the English dance band musicians through Schop to German violinsts like Rosenmüller and Biber and on to Bach? Schop’s violin ‘divisions’ on Dowland’s Lachrimae tune was published in the Netherlands.
The foundations for Elizabethan and Jacobean lute playing were laid by Philip van Wilder. This lutenist to Henry VIII was from the South Netherlands, and is listed in court records as ‘Phyllyp of Wylde, Frensshman’. Wilder’s Je file was composed in five parts, and we play the lower parts on strings here, but there is a lute and voice version in an English manuscript.
So we see that musical migrants at the beginning of the 16th century were the bedrock on which the musical triumphs in the song, consort and lute solo music the reigns of Elizabeth and James I so admired by us today, as well as making English music and musicians valuable cultural export in the early 17th century.
The Musicians In Ordinary
Named after the singers and lutenists who performed in the most intimate quarters of the Stuart monarchs’ palace, The Musicians In Ordinary for the Lutes and Voices dedicate themselves to the performance of early solo song and vocal chamber music. Soprano Hallie Fishel and lutenist John Edwards have been described as ‘winning performers of winning music’. A fixture on the Toronto early music scene for over 10 years, they have concertized across North America and lecture regularly at universities and museums. Institutions where MIO have performed range from the scholarly to those for a more general public and include the Renaissance Society of America, Canadian Society for Renaissance Studies, Grinnell College, the Universities of Alberta and Toronto, the Kingston Opera Guild, Syracuse, Trent and York Universities and the Bata Shoe Museum. They have been Ensemble in Residence at Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania.
Christopher Verrette has been a member of the violin section of Tafelmusik since 1993 and is a frequent soloist and leader with the orchestra. He holds a Bachelor of Music and a Performer's Certificate from Indiana University and has contributed to the development of early music in the American Midwest as a founding member of the Chicago Baroque Ensemble and Ensemble Voltaire (Indianapolis), and as a guest director with the Indianapolis Baroque Orchestra. He collaborates with numerous ensembles around North America, performing music from seven centuries on violins, viola, rebec, vielle and viola d'amore. He was concertmaster for a recording of rarely heard classical symphonies for an anthology soon to be released by Indiana University Press, and most recently collaborated with Sylvia Tyson on the companion recording to her novel, Joyner's Dream.
Edwin Huizinga has toured throughout Canada, Europe and Asia with Tafelmusik and performed with the Aradia Ensemble and I Furiosi. He has soloed with the Oberlin, Note Bene and San Francisco Baroque Orchestras, the San Bernardino Symphony, the Sacramento Baroque Ensemble, the Kitchener-Waterloo Chamber Orchestra and the Carmel Bach Festival Orchestra. He has been the guest concert master of the San Francisco Bach Chorale, the guest director of the Atlanta Baroque Orchestra, has toured with the Wallfisch Band under Gustav Leonhardt and been a guest artist at the Conservatory of Amsterdam. Currently a member of the ensemble Passemezzo Moderno, this November he will be making his Carnegie Hall debut with the Theatre of Early Music. Edwin has a passion for bringing chamber music to the people and is a founding member of the Classical Revolution, which began in San Francisco in 2006. He is now developing a Toronto chapter which will bring chamber music closer to the public. An avid improviser, Edwin can be found collaborating in many different genres in the artistic community.
Laura Jones is a native of Brandon, Manitoba, and it was at Brandon University that she started her formal music education. She completed a Bachelor’s Degree at the University of Toronto, and went on to receive her Master’s Degree in Performance from the University of Michigan. Now living in Toronto, she enjoys a busy and multi-faceted career on both modern and period instruments. Laura has been a member of the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra since 1989, is the principal cellist of the Nota Bene Period Orchestra and has also performed with Opera Atelier and the Aradia Ensemble, with which she has made several recordings on the Naxos label. As a chamber musician, she performs regularly as a member of the Windermere String Quartet on Period Instruments, Talisker Players (with whom she has appeared at chamber music festivals in Elora, Ottawa, and Vancouver), and L’Intemporel Baroque Ensemble. Serenade Française, a CD of music by French composers that Laura recorded with her father, pianist Lawrence Jones, was released in 2008.
Eleanor Verrette has studied violin in Toronto with Gretchen Paxton and Aisslinn Nosky, and viola in Montréal with Pemi Paull and Anna-Belle Marcotte. She performs regularly on viola and taille de quinte (tenor viola) in the McGill Baroque Orchestra, led by Hank Knox, which received rave reviews at the Boston Early Music Festival this summer. She has previously performed with the Musicians In Ordinary on rebec, and frequently translates French songs for their programs. She is also a member of Afropan, Toronto's oldest steel pans orchestra. She has recently completed a Bachelor of Music degree in Viola Performance at McGill University.
I spin when God gives me the wherewithal,
I spin my distaff, oho!
Into a garden I entered, three flowers of love I found there.
I go, I come, I turn, I turn about,
I bind, I spin, I clip, I shave,
I dance, I leap, I laugh, I sing,
I heat my oven, I keep my sheep from the wolf.
I spin when God gives me the wherewithal,
I spin my distaff, to you.