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The Cries of London & Music in Honor of Queen Elizabeth I

Patricia Clark and Ursula Connors, Sopranos
Jean Allister, Contralto
Edgar Fleet and Leslie Fyson, Tenors
John Frost, Bass
Neville Marriner and Peter Gibbs, Violins
Leslie Malowany and Max Gilbert, Violas
Bernard Richards, Cello

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THE CRIES OF LONDON THOMAS MORLEY (1557-1602) 1. A Pedlar’s Song: Will ye buy a fine dog? (Patricia Clark) 1:13 THOMAS RAVENSCROFT (c. 1590 – c. 1633) 2. The Painter’s Song: Where are you, fair maids? (Edgar Fleet) 1:42 3 The Bellman’s Song: Maids to bed (John Frost) 0:58 THOMAS WHYTHORNE (c. 1528- - ?) 4. Buy new broom, buy new broom! (Edgar Fleet) 1:11 CHRISTOPHER TYE (c. 1500 – c. 1573) 5. In nomine, “Crye" 2:18 RICHARD DERING (c. 1580-1629/30) 6 The Cries of London 10:48 MUSIC IN HONOR OF QUEEN ELIZABETH I JOHN BENNETT (A. 1600) 1. All creatures now are merry-minded 2:10 WILLIAM BYRD (1543-1623) 2. This sweet and merry month of May (a 4) 3:25 3. This sweet and merry month of May (a 6) 2:25 HENRY YOULL (A. 1600) 4. Each day of thine 1:18 JOHN BENNETT 5. Eliza, her name gives honour (Edgar Fleet) 2:24 WILLIAM BYRD 6. The Queen’s Alman 3:38 EDWARD JOHNSON (A. 1600) 7. Eliza is the fairest Queen (Patricia Clark) 2:42 THOMAS MORLEY 8. Blow, shepherds, blow 2:04 JOHN HILTON (d. 1608) 9. Fair Oriana, beauty’s queen 2:33 Centuries before our age of high-powered advertising and television commercials, it was up to the merchants, vendors, and pedlars of great cities to cry their wares and so attract the attention of prospective customers. The cries can still be heard today in some European cities, though they are rapidly losing ground because of the inevitable disappearance of ancient local traditions and the insistent encroachment of modern mechanical factors. In earlier times, cries were much more numerous and infinitely melodious, spilling over into the art-music of Italy, France, and England in such a way as to enshrine themselves in the cultural history of the country. Bridging the gap between functional folk-music and convivial polyphony, the Elizabethan and Jacobean settings of street cries convey some- thing of the bustling activity, the variegated attractions, and the sentimental side-shows of London thoroughfares in the age of Shakespeare, Jonson, Byrd, and Morley. Morley’s rhythmically vivacious Pedlar’s Song comes from an early 17th-century manuscript at Christ Church, Oxford. Only the treble and bass were written down: for this recording I wrote violin and viola parts to complete the Byrd's two settings of one and the same text afford opportunities for comparison and reassessment. In his Music in the Renaissance, Gustave Reese refers to the six-voice setting as one of the greatest, though most Italianate, of all English madrigals. More restrained and intimate, the four-part version celebrates the springtime and honors Eliza with equal fervor but quieter tones. Two short poems by Sir John Davies, each enfolding an acrostic of "Elisa” occur in Henry Youll's Canzonets to Three Voyces (1608): the one chosen here is Each day of thine. Bennett's beautiful but so far unpublished song for tenor and strings (Eliza, her name gives bonour to my singing) may have been given its première in the Queen's presence, perhaps at some noble entertainment. Byrd's harpsichord solo The Queen's Alman contains certain stylistic features suggesting a lost prototype for consort of stringed instruments, the present version being an attempted reconstruction of the original. On a par with Bennett's tenor solo is an enchanting and little-known work for soprano and strings by Edward Johnson, Eliza is the fairest Queen. It was composed especially for the Queen's visit to Lord Hertford's country house at Elvetham, near Basingstoke, in 1591, and was performed with appropriate actions and gestures. A contemporary account tells us that this spectacle and music so delighted Her Majesty, that she desired to see and hear it twice over'. Two years after the visit to Elvetham, Morley published his first collection of secular vocal music, the Canzonets or Little Short Songs to Three Voyces, and included a tribute to his sovereign in conventional pastoral language and music of inspired rhythmical verve. DENIS STEVENS
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