Orlando Gibbons (1583 – 1625) – O That the Learned Poets (Madrigals & Motets)
– The Sliver Swan (Madrigals & Motets)
John Wilbye (1574 – 1638) – Adieu, Sweet Amaryllis (First Set of Madrigals)
John Bennet (c. 1575 – 1614) – All Creatures Now Are Merry-Minded (The Triumphs of Oriana)
William Byrd (c. 1539 – 1623) – Though I Be Brown
Thomas Morley (1557 – 1602) – Now Is the Month of Maying
‘Sett’ is an early 17th-century English term for a collection or a ‘suite’ of movements. This selection is motivated by a sense that a national obsession with history, literature and the stage – especially in the creative yield between the death of Elizabeth I and the death of Charles II – has unwittingly obscured England’s astonishing musical accomplishments, especially in the period between c.1620-1680. After the blossoming of the post-Reformation ‘golden age’ of Tallis and Byrd, it is generally assumed that English musical life went into temporary free-fall until the miracle of Purcell in the 1680s. Certainly, there is almost no material until now to encourage the modern trumpet player to engage with this exceptionally fine body of work.
An English Sett for Trumpet is intended as a parody of the good old 17th-century concept of ‘mix and match’ incorporating the performer’s freedom to devise such groups of pieces as a kind of whim or conceit. This programme celebrates many of the colliding features which define the period: stylised keyboard dances dovetailing with consort songs, ‘pop’ madrigals flirting with mixed and high-born viol consorts, a lute fantasy of studied melancholy, the unusual appearance of the Irish harp at court, an In Nomine ‘a homage’ to our forefathers, and a devilish ‘battaglia’ as just one example of where variation and division allow a golden thread of invention.
We hope these works by Byrd, Gibbons, Jenkins, Lawes, Locke and a plethora of madrigalists will illuminate concert programmes in their new clothes, skillfully tailored in Timothy Jones’s idiomatic arrangements.
- Trumpet in C