SEON - RCA Red Seal
1 LP - RL 30375 - (p) 1979
1 CD - SBK 63179 - (c) 1997


William LAWES (1602-1645) Suite Nr. 2 in D Minor for 2 Violins, 2 Bass Viols & Theorbo - from "The Royal Consort"
13' 33"

- Pavan 6' 06"

- Aire 1' 43"

- Aire 1' 46"

- Aire (Galliard) 1' 12"

- Corant
1' 29"

- Saraband I 0' 49"

- Saraband II 0' 28"

Sigiswald Kuijken, Lucy van Dael, Wieland Kuijken, Gustav Leonhardt (Bass Viol), Toyohiko Satoh (Theorbo)

(Sonata) Nr. 8 in D Major for Violin, Bass Viol and Organ

10' 36"

- Fantasia 5' 27"

- Air (Alman) 3' 16"

- Air (Galliard) 1' 53"

Sigiswald Kuijken, Wieland Kuijken, Gustav Leonhardt (Organ)


- Cupids, weary of the Court

1' 25" B1

- O my Clariss!

1' 55" B2

- Gather your Rosebuds

1' 27" B3

- Beauty in Eclipsa

2' 41" B4

- Justitia(e) Sacrum

3' 09" B5

- When Man for Sin

3' 06" B6

René Jacobs, Toyohiko Satoh (Lute)

Consort Nr. 10 in G Minor for Violin, Bass Viol (Division Viol), Theorbo and Harp
10' 10"

- Pavan (on theme by Coprario)
5' 06"

- Divisions upon the Pavan
5' 04"

Sigiswald Kuijken, Wieland Kuijken, Toyohiko Satoh (Theorbo), Edward Witsenburg

Sigiswald Kuijken, Violin (Giovanni Grancino, Milano, c. 1700)

Lucy van Dael, Violin (Gennaio Gagliano, Napoli, 1732)
Wieland Kuijken, Bass Viol (Pierre Prévost, Paris, 1634)
Gustav Leonhardt, Bass Viol (William Addison, London, 1670) | Organ | Conductor

Toyohiko Satoh, Theorbo (Nico van der Waals, copy after anonymous, 17th century) | Lute

René Jacobs, Countertenor
Edward Witsenburg, Harp

Luogo e data di registrazione
Lutherse Kerk, Haarlem (Holland) - Novembre 1978

Registrazione: live / studio

Producer / Recording Supervisor
Wolf Erichson

Recording Engineer

Teije van Geest

Prima Edizione LP
Seon (RCA Red Seal) | RL 30375 | 1 LP - durata 49' 30" | (p) 1979 | ANA

Edizione CD
Sony | SBK 63179 | 1 CD - durata 49' 30" | (c) 1997 | ADD

Original Cover

Frederik van Valkenborch (1570-1628) - Deckel eines Spinetts des F. L. Behain, Nürnberg, 1619


Historians refer to the "cultural inbreeding" at the court of Charles I of England, vvho ascended the throne in 1625. Unlike the "Golden Age” of English music - the Elizabethan era - when art-music was cultivated both by the aristocracy and numerous members of the middle class, during Charles I's reign art-music was confined to the royal court and the musical establishments of the greater nobility. In "splendid isolation" at the palace and at country manor houses, the aristocracy indulged in lavishly staged entertainments, not infrequently demanding a musical framevvork of suitably grandiose proportions. With chamber music, by contrast, a style of sophisticated polyphonic writing evolved that at times bordered on the affected. A connoisseur in matters of art, Charles I had, in the 1630s, summoned to his court no less a person than the Flemish painter van Dyck, who depicted, albeit in discreet shades and tones, the opulent life-style of this luxury-loving English monarch. Also in Charles's service was the composer William Lawes, younger brother of composer Henry Lawes. Born in Salisbury in 1602, William Lawes was, like his brother, a pupil of John Coprario (John Cooper). In 1633 in collaboration with Simon Ives, he provided music for James Shirley's masque The Triumphs of Peace, a spectacular entertainment that was mounted at enormous expense - more than £ 21,000. There is no doubt that William Lawes was highly esteemed at Charles I's court. When Lawes met an untimely death, in 1645 at the siege of Chester during the Civil War between the Royalists and Parliamentarians, the king went into mourning at the loss of this “Father of Musick,” whose death also saddened his fellow musicians and contemporaries.
William Lawes's Royal Consort comprises sixty-six dance movements arranged in six suites. The relative popularity of this work is probably due to its use of traditional dance forms and lack of experimentation with new ideas. The theorbo part of The Royal Consort, incidentally, has only one line notated, and the harmonies it would realize are not indicated by figures. It was taken for granted at Charles I‘s court that the instrumentalist would be capable of adding suitable harmonies.
Perhaps more typical of William Lawes's somewhat eccentric courtly art are his Fantasias with their striking and often strange melodic intervals and bold harmonies. As in the Fantasia of the three-movement Sonata No. 8 in D Major, they always included an obbligato keyboard part. Another notable feature is the use of violins, which, from the mid-seventeenth century onwards, were gradually taking over from the more delicate-sounding viols. In order to do it full justice, the music of William Lawes, in particular, demands the greater volume of sound and expressive potential of the violin.
The Consort No. 10 in G minor (for violin, bass viol, theorbo and harp) consists of a three-sectioned Pavan on a theme by Coprario, followed by “Divisions upon the Pavan.” The theorbo and harp consistently keep to the Pavan bass melody throughout. The ”division viol
(bass viol), which during the first part plays in unison with the theorbo and harp, sets off with its “divisions” (variations) in the second part. The violin, however, presents diminutions of the bass pavan theme right from the outset.
The English lute-song, with its often profound dialogue between voice and instrument, reached its zenith in Shakespearean times. In the ”ayres" of William Lawes, written two generations later, the role of the lute is restricted to that of mere harmonic accompaniment. His most famous song, a setting of Robert Herrick's “Gather Ye Rosebuds,
is known to have been reprinted at least twenty-nine times. Two more of the songs recorded here are also settings of poems by the writer-clergyman Robert Herrick, an accomplished poet who wrote with great frequency on the subject of the wiles and whims of Cupid, often with folksong-like simplicity. The last ”ayre” of the group, When Man ffor Sinne Thy Judgment Feeles,” is a setting of three verses from Psalm 39.
Hans Christoph Worbs
Translated by Avril Watts