[Milton-L] Renaissance music--recs?

Ryan Paul ryanspaul at gmail.com
Sun Apr 3 12:51:14 EDT 2011

Zack, et al:

About a year ago, someone asked this question on the community weblog
metafilter.com. A number of good suggestions about composers, performers,
and online resources:


Ryan Singh Paul

On Sun, Apr 3, 2011 at 11:14 AM, Hannibal Hamlin
<hamlin.hannibal at gmail.com>wrote:

> A HUGE question, but I'll bite. Here are some particularly imaginative
> recordings, of special interest to those who study Renaissance literature
> and culture:
> *Bara Faustus' Dream: Mr Francis Tregian his Choice*. By Les Witches. Lute
> songs and instrumental music inspired (i.e., for Les Witches) by the
> recusant Francis Tregian and the fabulous Unton Memorial at the National
> Portrait Gallery. The concept doesn't take you very far, but it's good
> music.
> *My Lady Riche*. Emily van Evera and Christopher Morrongiello. Really a
> brilliant album. Apart from having great music (Dowland, Byrd, Coprario and
> others), it's like a musico-cultural biography of Penelope Devereux. Full of
> surprises.
> *Celestiall Witchcraft: The Private Music of Henry and Charles, Princes of
> Wales*. Fretwork. Great early 17th c. music from this court within the
> court. Of both musical and historical interest.
> *1605: Treason & Discord: William Byrd and the Gunpowder P**lot*. The
> Kings' Singers. Slightly weird but intriguing gathering of materials around
> the Plot. The actual historical connections between music and event are slim
> to none, but there's some fabuluous music here, especially by Byrd (of
> course a recusant). His Mass for 4 his Civitas sancti especially (the latter
> one of the very greatest of Renaissance motets).
>  The King's Singers Renaissance recordings are all worth having, at least
> the more recent ones. The group that's been active for the last decade or so
> is one of the best vocal ensembles ever. They have a recording of *The
> Triumphs of Oriana* (tedious to listen to all through, but an important
> collection), *The English Renaissance* (Tallis and Byrd), and more.
> Buy anything by the Huelgas Ensemble -- they're brilliant and also
> imaginative in their programming. For early Tudor music, the Sixteen have
> recorded everything in the Eton Choirbooks. The Tallis Scholars are solid
> and reliable, if a little uninspired sometimes. The Hilliard Ensemble did
> some great recordings (Dunstable, Byrd, Josquin) back in the 80s, but I
> don't know how many are still available. I wouldn't stretch back too far,
> since the quality of early music performance has improved significantly over
> the decades. The Deller Consort has a quaint historical interest, for
> example, but they're painful to listen to now. The one exception I'd make is
> David Munrow, whose ensemble made some fabulous and ground-breaking
> recordings quite a ways back -- boxed sets of The Music of the Netherlands,
> Early Instruments, and another of Machaut and Dufay. There's loads and loads
> of other ensemble music, especially sacred. The Orlando Consort are very
> good, The Byrd Edition by The Cardinal's Music is superb, and Byrd is really
> the greatest composer of the English Renaissance, and one of the greatest
> period -- despite the fact that Anthony Tommasini didn't include him in his
> silly NYT list! New York's Lionheart also has an excellent recording of
> Tudor music: *My Fayre Ladye*. Many of the church and college choirs also
> do excellent recordings: Winchester Cathedral, King's College, St. John's
> College, St. Paul's, etc.
> There are tons of lute song recordings. The best countertenor going is the
> German Andreas Scholl, who is in a class by himself. Others who've done
> Dowland, Campion, et al well are Rufus Mueller, Ian Partridge, and Emma
> Kirkby (a very limited singer, despite having dominated the early music
> scene in its early days, but she does lute songs well).
> There are some interesting recordings of Renaissance popular music: *How
> the World Wags: Social Music for a Seventeenth Century Englishman*, by The
> City Waites, and *Johnny, Cock Thy Beaver*, by The Dufay Collective.
>  Cheers,
> Hannibal
> On Sun, Apr 3, 2011 at 10:19 AM, Zackariah Long <zclong at owu.edu> wrote:
>> Hi, there, fellow Miltonists,
>> This is slightly tangential to the purpose of this list, but if pressed I
>> suppose I could say I was working on "At a Solemn Music" or was interested
>> in Milton's father:
>> Recently I have become interested in listening to Renaissance music and
>> was wondering if anyone had recommendations of nice places to start in the
>> way of CDs or boxed sets. I started where I am most comfortable, with
>> Shakespeare and Elizabethan music--of which there seems to be an abundance
>> of easily available collections--but would be interested in ranging further
>> abroad within the England or on the Continent. Any favorite sets or
>> sites/labels to check out?
>> With much appreciation,
>> Zack
>> --
>> Zackariah Long
>> Assistant Professor of English
>> 211 Sturges Hall
>> Department of English
>> Ohio Wesleyan University
>> 61 S. Sandusky St.
>> Delaware, OH 43015
>> Office phone: (740) 368-3596
>> zclong at owu.edu
>> _______________________________________________
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> --
> Hannibal Hamlin
> Associate Professor of English
> Editor, Reformation
> Organizer, The King James Bible and its Cultural Afterlife
> http://kingjamesbible.osu.edu/
> The Ohio State University
> 164 West 17th Ave., 421 Denney Hall
> Columbus, OH 43210-1340
> hamlin.22 at osu.edu/
> hamlin.hannibal at gmail.com
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