Music for the Mayflower

They that in ships unto the sea down go
Music for the Mayflower
Passamezzo
Resonus  RES10263. 61’23

It is 400 years since the Mayflower set sail for the New World. It had been commissioned by English Puritans, along with another ship, the Speedwell, bringing Puritans that had earlier moved to Leiden to escape religious persecution in England. The complicated initial stages of the journey started in July 1620 from the River Thames just east of the City of London. The Mayflower waited to join the Speedwell in Southampton Water and both ships set sail for America in early August, calling into Dartmouth for repairs. They reached well beyond the Scilly Isles but again had to return to Plymouth for further repairs. The Speedwell gave up, and some of their passengers joined Mayflower which finally set off alone. Continue reading

Pellingmans’ Saraband: Twenty waies upon the bels

Pellingmans’ Saraband: Twenty waies upon the bels
https://pellingman.greedbag.com. PS0002

PictureMusic by Thomas Ravenscroft, Thomas Robinson, John Johnson, Robert Smith, Nicholas Lanier, Thomas Campion, and Anon.

The distinguished viola da gamba and lute performers, Susanna Pell and Jacob Heringman, have been musical colleagues for some 27 years, and husband and wife since 1999. But it is only comparatively recently that they have started performing together as a duo, generally near to their home in Richmond, North Yorkshire: a very welcome addition to the non-London musical scene. This is only their second CD together although, on the basis of this excellent offering, I would hope for many more.

PictureThe basis for their programme is ‘circular music’, here represented by ‘grounds and rounds’ in the form of instrumental grounds (divisions/variations), lute songs based on grounds, and rounds from Thomas Ravenscroft, here sung four male singers. For the lute songs, they are joined by the excellent soprano, Faye Newton (pictured). The exquisite clarity and focus of her voice fits the musical style perfectly. Continue reading