CDE84539 The Water Is Wide - Lute Songs

The Water Is Wide - Lute Songs

The Water Is Wide - Lute Songs

Product Description

The Water is Wide
and other Lute Songs

Nigel Perrin - Counter-Tenor
David Parsons - Lute

Sound Sample
[1] The Water Is Wide 2:53

[2] Scarborough Fair 2:45

[3] Through Bushes and Through Briars 3:00

[4] Tweedside - Anon c17th 2:02

[5] Lillybolero - Anon c17th 0:52

[6] The Skye Boat Song 3:02

[7] I love my love in secret - Anon 1:30

[8] The Turtle Dove 2:31

[9] John Barleycorn 3:27

[10] The Three Ravens 3:29

[11] Bridgewater Fair 1:55

[12] The Cuckoo 1:52

[13] The Captains Apprentice 2:56

[14] I cannot keep my wife at home - Anon 0:46

[15] Kemps Jig 1:10

[16] Woe worth the tyme 2:32

[17] Since first I saw your face 1:49

[18] Home again market is done - Anon 1:13

[19] Brigg Fair 2:07

[20] The Gillyflower - Anon 1:16

[21] Dance to thee Daddy 1:35

[22] Greensleeves - Anon 1:52

[23] The Wexford Carol 2:16

[24] The Cobbler - Anon 1:36

[25] The Ploughman 1:42

[26] Come my children dear 2:01

[27] Joy to the person of my love 2:22

[28] Scotts Dance - Anon 0:53

[29] Then wilt thou go 2:02

[30] Hollow my fancie 3:02

[31] Fairest Isle 2:19

[32] When Celia I intend to flatter you 1:51

[33] When Laura Smiles 1:51

Although impossible to define exactly what constitutes a folksong, it is generally held to imply a song of unknown authorship which has been preserved by oral tradition. Many of the songs in this selection fall into this category, their antiquity suggested by references to historical events or medieval customs and their oral preservation by the numerous variations of essentially the same song. Several have been taken from the collections made early in the 20th century by Ralph Vaughan Williams and Cecil Sharp. Lute accompaniments have been written combining period technique with original ideas reflecting the individual character of the songs. Some verses and songs and have been left unaccompanied-to please the apocryphal Dorset labourer who complained to Vaughan Williams that while it was nice for the professional singer to have the piano, it did make it “awkward for the listener”.

The song Waly,Waly was first published in 1724 but during the 19th century became known as The Water is Wide. Scarborough Fair is an old English riddle song of which there are countless variations. It was made famous in the 1960's by Simon and Garfunkel.

Bushes and Briars was overheard in 1903 by Vaughan Williams whilst in Essex. He persuaded the singer, a Mr Potipher to let him take it down. It is supposedly the song which kindled VW's interest in folk music and led to the 20th century revival.

Tweedside,Lillibolero and I love my love in secret are all taken from the Balcarres lute book, a 17th century manuscript containing many settings of Scottish ballads for solo lute realised in the style of the great French Lutenists of the day. The Skye boat song relates the escape of Bonnie Prince Charlie to Skye after his defeat at Culloden in 1746.

The Turtle Dove, a sad song of parting dates from the late 18th century and is from Dorset.

John Barleycorn is a personification of the cereal crop barley and the important alcoholic beverages made from it, beer and whisky. There are many versions of the song from as early as 1568. The Scottish poet Robert Burns published his own version in 1782.

The ballad of the Three Ravens dates back to 1611. According to some in the Folk world the song deals with primitive superstition. “Perhaps the dead Knights beloved was understood to be an enchanted woman who was metamorphosed at certain times into an animal”

The Somerset Folk Song, Bridgwater Fair was collected by Cecil Sharp (1859-1924) The Cuckoo of which there are many versions originates from Newfoundland. The Captains Apprentice is a Norfolk folk song. The melody from this chilling story of a captain haunted by his mistreatment of a young apprentice was used by Vaughan Williams as the basis for his orchestral Norfolk

Rhapsody no 1.

Some fine examples of ballad settings for the lute can be found in the Lute book of Margaret Board (c1620-1630). The manuscript from which are taken; I cannot keep my wife at home, Home again market is done and the Gilliflower, is of great importance as it contains music written in the hand of the greatest Elizabethan Lutenist and composer John Dowland (1563-1626).

The anonymous Kemps Jig honours the Elizabethan actor Will Kemp who famously danced from London to Norwich. Woe worth the time can be found in the 16th century part books of Thomas Wode and is a musically polite lament of unrequited love. Tomas Ford (1580-1648) was a composer and Viol player. Since first I saw your face is a innocent love song and although published in his Musicke of Sundrie kindes (1607) has a timeless folk character. Brigg Fair is well known in the choral arrangement by Percy Grainger (1882-1961) and was later made into a set of orchestral variations by Frederick Delius (1862-1934).Dance to thee Daddy originates from the North East and was first printed in Newcastle. Greensleeves allegedly written by Henry V11th was a popular ground bass for divisions or variations. The Lutenist composer Francis Cutting's (d 1596) variations follow the well known setting used by amongst others Vaughan Williams in his Fantasia on Greensleeves.

The Wexford Carol is possibly 12th century Irish and still remains popular in Christmas celebrations.

The anonymous Lute solo the Cobbler is taken from the Dowland lute Book held at the Folger Museum in Washington. The Ploughman was collected in 1904 at Horsham Sussex by Vaughan Williams.

Despite the fragmentation of court culture in the 17th century the Scottish musical tradition managed to survive for a time among the musical amateurs of the northern castles.

Come my children dear is an example of secular verse turned into a sacred song while Joy to the person of my love and Then wilt thou go remain simple but poignant love songs.

Hollow my fancie has extraordinary lyrics. In the pursuit of knowledge through experience the singer declares that he will 'mount Phoebus' chair having ne'er a hat on, surveying all the stars and planets'; but the song concludes with his lover urging him to study his books at home instead.

John Dryden wrote King Arthur in 1684 in anticipation of 25th anniversary of the restoration of Charles 11. It was a play in blank verse intended to be adorned with songs and dances. On hearing Henry Purcell's (1659-1695) music for Dioclasian in 1690, Dryden revised the script for him a year later and it became the most popular and enduring of Purcell's stage works. Fairest Isle comes from the fifth act and is sung by Venus.

Charles Coleman (died 1664) was a composer, singer, Lutenist and Viol player. He had a house at Richmond on Thames and it was said:

“..the man being a skilfull composer in music, the king's musicians often met at his house to prepare new airs and prepare them for the King”

When Celia I intend to flatter you seems to suggest that flattery will achieve everything.

The lute song in Elizabethan England established itself as a major art form, singers finding the delicate timbre of the instrument an ideal compliment to the lyric verse of the time. Philip Rosseter (1567-1623) was a court musician, composer and theatrical manager. His songs are often confused with those of Thomas Campion with whom he jointly published his book of Ayres in 1601. While not having the gravitas of some of John Dowland's greatest melancholic works Rossetter's songs are charming and witty. A common characteristic in his songs, his playful use of rhythm is clearly demonstrated in When Laura Smiles.

David Parsons 2006.

The Water Is Wide - Lute Songs