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Garden of Early Delights

Pamela Thorby

Garden of Early Delights

...with harpist Andrew Lawrence-King
BKD 291 (Linn Records)
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$20.00

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FLAC 24bit 88.2kHz 1,130.0MB $24.00

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FLAC 16bit 44.1kHz 279.5MB $13.00

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Prices shown in US Dollars



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Tracks: Listen and Download

Format
Track Time Listen Track Price
1
Trattado de Glosas: Recercada segunda de tenore

Trattado de Glosas: Recercada segunda de tenore

Composer Diego Ortiz
Soloist

Pamela Thorby - g alto recorder
Andrew Lawrence-King

2:13 Play $1.70
2
Der Flutyen Lust-Hof: Wat zal men op den Avond doen

Der Flutyen Lust-Hof: Wat zal men op den Avond doen

Composer Jacob van Eyck
Soloist Pamela Thorby - soprano recorder
Andrew Lawrence-King
4:13 Play $1.70
3
Der Flutyen Lust-Hof: Derde, Doen Daphne d’over

Der Flutyen Lust-Hof: Derde, Doen Daphne d’over

Composer Jacob van Eyck
Soloist Pamela Thorby - soprano recorder
Andrew Lawrence-King
5:03 Play $3.40
4
Der Flutyen Lust-Hof: Boffons

Der Flutyen Lust-Hof: Boffons

Composer Jacob van Eyck
Soloist Pamela Thorby - g alto recorder
Andrew Lawrence-King
2:18 Play $1.70
5
Sonate concertate in stil modern, libro second: Sonata seconda a soprano solo

Sonate concertate in stil modern, libro second: Sonata seconda a soprano solo

Composer Dario Castello
Soloist Pamela Thorby - g alto recorder
Andrew Lawrence-King
4:57 Play $1.70
6
Second Book of Songes: Sorrow, sorrow stay

Second Book of Songes: Sorrow, sorrow stay

Composer John Dowland
Soloist

Andrew Lawrence-King

3:35 Play $1.70
7
T’Uitnement Kabinet (after Dowland): Lachrime Pavaen

T’Uitnement Kabinet (after Dowland): Lachrime Pavaen

Composer Johann Schop
Soloist Pamela Thorby - tenor recorder
5:35 Play $3.40
8
Third Book of Songes: Weep you no more

Third Book of Songes: Weep you no more

Composer John Dowland
Soloist Andrew Lawrence-King
2:15 Play $1.70
9
Motetti, madrigali et canzone francese: Susanne un jour

Motetti, madrigali et canzone francese: Susanne un jour

Composer Giovanni Bassano
Soloist Pamela Thorby - g alto recorder
4:27 Play $1.70
10
Trattado de Glosas: Recercada segunda de canto llano

Trattado de Glosas: Recercada segunda de canto llano

Composer Diego Ortiz
Soloist Andrew Lawrence-King
2:20 Play $1.70
11
Sonate a 1. 2. 3. per il violin, o cornetto, fagotto, chitarone, violincino o simile altro istrumento: Sonata sesta

Sonate a 1. 2. 3. per il violin, o cornetto, fagotto, chitarone, violincino o simile altro istrumento: Sonata sesta

Composer Giovanni Battista Fontana
Soloist Pamela Thorby - soprano recorder
Andrew Lawrence-King
6:43 Play $3.40
12
Per Ogni Sorte d’Stromento: Passacalio

Per Ogni Sorte d’Stromento: Passacalio

Composer Biagio Marini
Soloist Andrew Lawrence-King
5:00 Play $3.40
13
Sonate a 1. 2. 3. per il violin, o cornetto, fagotto, chitarone, violincino o simile altro istrumento: Sonata seconda

Sonate a 1. 2. 3. per il violin, o cornetto, fagotto, chitarone, violincino o simile altro istrumento: Sonata seconda

Composer Giovanni Battista Fontana
Soloist Pamela Thorby - soprano recorder
Andrew Lawrence-King
6:45 Play $3.40
14
Der Flutyen Lust-Hof: Amarilli mia bella

Der Flutyen Lust-Hof: Amarilli mia bella

Composer Jacob van Eyck
Soloist

Pamela Thorby - tenor recorder
Andrew Lawrence-King

4:40 Play $1.70
15
Trattado de Glosas: Recercada prima sobre doulce mémoire

Trattado de Glosas: Recercada prima sobre doulce mémoire

Composer Diego Ortiz after Sandrin
Soloist Andrew Lawrence-King
3:16 Play $1.70
16
Motetti, madrigali et canzone francese: Frais et gaillard

Motetti, madrigali et canzone francese: Frais et gaillard

Composer Giovanni Bassano after Clemens non Papa
Soloist Pamela Thorby - soprano recorder
Andrew Lawrence-King
3:44 Play $1.70
Total Running Time 67 minutes Purchase all tracks 
$13.00 
Prices shown in US Dollars

Recorder virtuoso Pamela Thorby collaborates with Andrew Lawrence-King in this delightful selection of unusual and eloquent pieces for recorders, harps and psaltery.

The Studio Master files are 88.2kHz/24-bit.

Download includes - cover art, inlay, booklet
Andrew Lawrence-King

Andrew Lawrence-King

Baroque-harp virtuoso and imaginative continuo-player, Andrew Lawrence-King is one of the world's leading performers of early music.
profile & recordings >>
Pamela Thorby

Pamela Thorby

Always stylish in whichever repertoire she chooses, Pamela's wide appeal stems from an innate love of communicating through her playing, a natural, dynamic stage presence and a sophisticated and intelligent use of her virtuosic skills.
profile & recordings >>

Best of 2008 

Best Recording of 2008
High Fidelity Magazine

 

 
‘No connoisseur of recorder-playing or Renaissance instrumental virtuosity will want to be without this delightful anthology.' The Telegraph 

5 stars ‘...this is music to warm the heart and delight the senses.' Financial Times

‘...a very captivating collection...her execution is flawless...' International Record Review
 
5 stars 'Thorby's playing exhibits a vitality, exuberance and earthiness...' BBC Music Magazine

‘This is Paradise indeed.' Gramophone

‘Garden of Early Delights is a mixed bouquet of diverse, joyous, unusual and eloquent pieces from the Renaissance and Early Baroque periods. Performed by Pamela Thorby on recorders and Andrew Lawrence-King on harps and psaltery, these are two virtuosic musicians unsurpassed in their respective fields.  The garden of 16th and 17th century music brought forth a rich harvest of symbolism and literary associations - some of which are presented on this album. The programme includes bursts of good humour in the treatment of van Eyck's popular variations, sensuous melancholy from Dowland contrasting with the formality of diminutions on favourite madrigals. 'Garden of Early Delights' includes solo pieces from both musicians, plus works that allow them to come together and showcase their considerable skills for musical interaction. Pamela Thorby and Andrew Lawrence-King merge their considerable experience of other genres to deliver a unique performance on an album that brings to life music full of surprise, beauty and delight.


Note by Pamela Thorby 

In 1993, as a recent music graduate, I found myself being shown around the high-end audio equipment manufacturer, Linn Products, hidden away in the depths of the Scottish countryside. Here I met Philip Hobbs, sound engineer / producer extraordinaire, the manager of the then-fledgling label Linn Records. With his expertise and patience, the Palladian Ensemble (of which I was proud to be a member between 1991 and 2007) began a long and fruitful relationship with Linn Records, which resulted in many award-winning albums. I could not have imagined that 15 years later, I would still have the good fortune to be associated with the same company and to have had the opportunity to record the rare and unusual, as well as more familiar repertoire.

To coax an instrument to sing, to breathe colour and sophisticated nuance without mannerism into a musical line is an intricate challenge and one which this repertoire certainly demands of the performer. With regard to the instruments on this recording, the historical copies I have chosen could be variously described as ‘renaissance', ‘ganassi' or ‘transitional' models. I have used articulations that are mentioned in historical sources and found these particularly necessary in the quicksilver flights of demi-semiquaver runs; to achieve something more than just machine-gun precision, a fluent, expressive line at high speed demands an array of flexible articulation possibilities. The ‘fruity' temperament serves to heighten the delicious moments of - sometimes intentionally uncomfortable - tension and release.

I have picked freely from our musical ‘Garden of Early Delights' to form a mixed bouquet of diverse, joyous, unusual and eloquent pieces. The quixotic drama of the experimental sonatas ‘in stil moderno' is countered with bursts of good humour in our treatment of van Eyck's popular variations: the sensuous melancholy of Dowland's fabulous melodies contrasts with the formality of diminutions on favourite madrigals.

Having worked on previous Linn projects with continuo-players of the calibre of harpsichordist Richard Egarr and lutenist William Carter, I am delighted to be collaborating with the extraordinary harpist Andrew Lawrence-King on this project. The intention for this album is not to create a dry historical document, but simply that it becomes part of the ever evolving tradition of musicians discovering and bringing to life a repertoire full of surprise, beauty and delight. 

Garden of Early Delights

Innocent joy in Eden; forbidden pleasures in Bosch's famous Garden of Earthly Delights; serenades, wit and sophisticated metaphors in Elizabethan drama; elegant formal design at European courts: the garden of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries brought forth a rich harvest of symbolism and literary associations. In the shady groves of Italian madrigals and early operas, pastoral shepherds enjoy the delights of love. In English, Spanish and Dutch plays, Romeo serenades Juliet in the orchard garden by moonlight. Shakespeare chooses the garden for scenes of love, high-flown allusion or low comedy; and in a grove of the ‘wood near Athens', Titania sleeps ‘lull'd in these flowers with dances and delight'. Nightingales sing, we hear the soft music of recorders and plucked strings.

In his 1553 Trattado (treatise), Diego Ortiz describes three ways for instruments to play together: free invention, variations over the repeating harmonic sequence of a ground, and decorated versions of well-known madrigals. He writes not for a renaissance consort of similar instruments but for a soloist, with the polyphonic lines combined into chords for the accompanist. The bare outline of the melody is swathed in embellishments - glosas: standard cadence formulae that could be improvised in any performance; subtle progressions through each melodic interval, to be prepared in advance; complex ornamentation jumping across the polyphonic texture from one voice to another (or even adding an additional voice), so elaborately worked as to create a new composition.

Ortiz's glosas literally ‘gloss' the melody, replacing a single long note by a flurry of shorter notes, ‘dividing' slow notes into ‘diminutions' - lots of little notes. This ‘music of division' relies on the strength of the underlying melody, adding rhythmic sparkle with subtle patterning in the diminutions. Later division settings - passaggi - feature note radoppiate, even faster ‘re-doubled' notes, mixing languorous, delightfully agile and breathtakingly rapid articulations in complex rhythms assembled from fragments of scales and conventional passagework.

The explosion of ‘new music' in the early seventeenth century - Cavalieri's Anima e Corpo, the first oratorio, and Peri's Euridice, the earliest surviving opera, both in 1600; Caccini's continuo-songs, Le nuove musiche, in 1601; Viadana's continuo-motets in 1602 - was ignited by the new technique of composing directly for solo voice and basso continuo. Renaissance polyphony and the serene harmony of the spheres gave way to baroque solo display and to music of drama and emotional change, all designed to sway the listener's mood - muovere gli affetti - to tears, noble anger, love, or laughter. Where Ortiz had re-arranged polyphony to create a chordal accompaniment, Caccini published the accompaniment to his songs as a figured bass, from which the continuo player would improvise harmonies and essential counterpoint. Peri's recitar cantando (declaiming in song, i.e. recitative) employed forbidden dissonances to imitate an actor's spoken delivery, sudden contrasts of syllable speed to indicate passion, and extreme harmonies to express emotion.

Instrumentalists continued to play variations on grounds and embellished versions of vocal music (Ortiz's second and third recipes), but soon found an equivalent to the free invention of recitative song in the instrumental sonata. Just as the form of an operatic recitative or seventeenth-century madrigal would be dictated by the changing moods of the text - ‘emotional logic' rather than structural design - so instrumental sonatas were assembled in short, contrasting sections. Instruments imitated voices in the simple rhythms of the canzona, in the operatic drama of strong dissonances and in the poignancy of recitative-like affetti sections. Special effects - tremolo, arpeggio figures, extreme high and low notes - demonstrated the power of instrumental music, as charming, persuasive and awe-inspiring as that icon of early opera, the lyre of Orpheus, the mythical, hell-harrowing cetra.

Music historians have tended to characterise the philosophy of this ‘new music', of Florentine opera and Venetian sonatas, as a reaction against the earlier diminution style. However singers and instrumentalists continued to write instruction manuals for diminutions and enriched the earlier tradition, developing the fashion for radoppiate and other new embellishments. In his nuove musiche (Florence, 1602), Caccini gives detailed instructions for the realisation of the messa di voce, intonazione and esclamazione (starting a note with a crescendo, with an upwards slide, or with a sudden accent, decrescendo and renewed crescendo), the trillo (repeated-note trill) and ribattuta di gola (literally ‘beating in the throat', a reiterated, rapid flick from the note above). His intention was not to abandon ornamentation, but to reform it by unifying it with the text, and thus with the emotional content of the song. In imitation of such vocal models, instrumental sonatas similarly drew on the diminution-players' arsenal of ornamental passaggi and special effects.

Conversely, elaborate diminution-pieces from the last decade of the sixteenth century onwards transcend mere virtuoso display to become new solo compositions in their own right, wholly within the new aesthetic of dramatic contrast and changing emotions, even when they are built on the stable foundation of a polyphonic madrigal or renaissance chanson. Diminution-composers usually chose pieces that had already become well known in their original form; pastoral chansons, fresh and lively (Frais et galliard), or nostalgic (Doulce mémoire). Many of the originals have strongly memorable harmonic sequences, as in the final phrases of Susanne un jour, Doulce mémoire and Amarilli. Many have distinctive, easily recognised characteristics: the descending notes of Lachrime; the famous Amarilli motive; the upwards leap of a fourth and descending scales of Frais et galliard; the melodic minor third that begins Susanne un jour; the strong, simple harmonies that announce Doulce mémoire.

In Elizabethan England, Dowland's Second Booke of Songes (1600) appears to follow contemporary Italian fashion for solo settings with plucked accompaniment. But his lute-tablature songs are far from Caccini's continuo recitatives, not only in notational presentation, but also in musical and emotional content. Dowland's music remains polyphonic, with strong contrapuntal interest in the lower voices even when the principal voice is set apart as a solo. Where Italian texts revel in the dramatic contrast of opposing affetti, the motto of the composer of Lachrime was Semper Dowland, semper dolens: forever Dowland, forever melancholy. Contemporary English writers regarded strong emotions as ‘perturbations of melancholy', whether ‘sadde and fearful', ‘furious' or ‘merry in apparaunce', in which the ‘hart... breaketh out into that inordinate passion, against reason'.

In English literary sources, the ‘sweet notes' of recorders are heard ‘under a sweet arbour of eglantine'. Recorders, ‘the delight of each melody and grove' are associated with pastoral shepherds and singing birds, with dancing, and with the ‘pleasures of Love', once 'the toils and the hazards of war's at an end'. But the recorder too could be melancholy, a Shakespearian metaphor for the ‘woes' and ‘distresses' heard in the ‘nightingale's complaining notes'. It could also create an eerie atmosphere for night scenes, funeral processions or druidic rites.

In marked contrast to its present-day identity as a woman's instrument played by angels, the Italian harp's seventeenth-century image shows a young man, the incarnation of Pleasure. Orpheus plays aboard ship to ‘calme the Seas with his Harp', or most famously of all, in Hell. Harps are associated with King David the psalmist, but also with love-scenes and dancing: many paintings show David dancing with an impracticably large double-harp embraced in his arms. Harps with two rows of strings crossing each other (in the way that the fingers of clasped hands interlace) were already known in sixteenth-century Spain. In Italy, the seventeenth-century arpa doppia (meaning a large harp, usually a tre ordini, with three parallel rows of strings) was prized as a continuo accompaniment for opera, songs or sonatas and as a solo instrument for ornamented madrigals and variations on ground basses.

In England, harpists, keyboard players and lutenists shared a common repertoire of instrumental settings of well-known vocal music, alongside division-sets based on ballad-tunes and dance-tunes. Many of these English popular tunes are linked to Italian ground basses, those repeating chord-sequences referred to by Ortiz as tenores. Boffons, danced as a mock battle with wooden swords, and Ortiz's Recercada segunda de tenore are variations over the same passamezzo moderno bass. This ground, Shakespeare's Passymeasures pavin, was known to lutenists as the Quadran pavan and to barber-shop gittern players such as Gregory Walker. Gregory was a famous hairdresser, and this is the original ‘walking bass'!

One of the paradoxes of early music is that the period aesthetic did not favour ‘authenticity'. French chansons are given Neapolitan glosas and Venetian passagi; vocal polyphony is transformed into diminution solos for instruments. In the ‘excellent cabinet', Schop adds European echoes and continental chromatics to Lachrime, that beloved icon of English melancholy. Van Eyck's flowery Amaryllis in his ‘flautist's garden of delight' ignores Caccini's Florentine principles. And the very concept of an instrumental sonata is at odds with the vocal model that inspired it, the desire to move the emotions by the dramatic recitation of a text. The composers represented here took music and philosophies of past generations, and made them new. In that spirit, this programme's first set of glosas is in every way a passamezzo moderno. © Andrew Lawrence-King, 2008

Recording information:

Recorded at The National Centre for Early Music, York, UK from October 30th - November 1st 2006
Engineered and produced by Philip Hobbs
Post-production by Julia Thomas
Sleeve design by The Art Surgery

With thanks to Catherine Latham and to Dick and Jill Pyper.

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Classic FM (South Africa)
4 Stars
"...just relax and be transported to another world."
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Adiemus Fan Magazine
"...it is rare to find an album that has been made by such a genuine and sincere attitude..."
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American Recorder Magazine
"...lighthearted and engaging."
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The Consort
"I highly commend this recording."
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StereoMojo
"...this is one recording that is recommended to try."
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Klassik.com
4 Stars
"...stellen ein feines und zugleich frisches Programm in einer eigenständigen Perspektive vor."
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Toccata
"...seine wahre Pracht ist."
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Atlanta Audio Society
"It's as delightful a way to spend an hour's listening as I know of."
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MusicWeb-International
"This is a fascinating and most enjoyable recital of music..."
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Opus Musica
"Este trabajo es un placer para los sentidos."
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Hi-Fi Choice
5 Stars
An outstanding review for 'Garden of Early Delights'
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Hi-Fi & Musik
'Hör du till dem som trodde att blockflöjt var enkelt att spela...'
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Crescendo
4 Stars
"L’ensemble du programme baigne dans une séduction certaine faite de maîtrise technique..."
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Gramophone
"This is Paradise indeed."
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Home Theatre Hi-Fi
5 Stars
"...Thorby and Lawrence-King approach their virtuosic repertoire with consummate ease and joyful hearts."
more >>

Scotland on Sunday
4 Stars
"...there's no denying the quality of performance and works themselves."
more >>

BBC Music Magazine
5 Stars
"Thorby's playing exhibits a vitality, exuberance and earthiness..."
more >>

Early Music Review
"These are sparkling and fresh performances..."
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Ultra Audio
"These works are played perfectly by Thorby and Andrew Lawrence-King..."
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Classic FM Magazine
3 Stars
"...pleasant and original...sensitively accompanied."
more >>

High Fidelity
4½ Stars
A fantastic review from the Polish audiophile publication
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The Irish Times
4 Stars
"...sheer joie-de-vivre..."
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Classical Source
"Harp and recorder is an irresistible combination"
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Bay Area Reporter
"...a delight."
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International Record Review
"...a very captivating collection...her execution is flawless..."
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Politiken (translated)
4 Stars
"Go in, close your eyes and let your ears open out: It is refreshingly chirpy, and it is good to listen to at all hours."
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Politiken
4 Stars
"Det er vederkvægende kvidren - og der er nok af det til både tidlig og silde!"
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The Telegraph
"No connoisseur of recorder-playing or Renaissance instrumental virtuosity will want to be without this delightful anthology."
more >>

Diario de Sevilla
"...las más espectaculares disminuciones se combinan con las dulces melodías."
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Manchester Evening News
4 Stars
"The recorder playing is virtuosic in the extreme..."
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The Scotsman
4 Stars
"Freshness and spontaneity light up every moment."
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Financial Times
5 Stars
"...this is music to warm the heart and delight the senses."
more >>

Audiophile Audition
4 Stars
"...she navigates the speediest complex ornamentation with aplomb."
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