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recorder and counter-tenor and lute

with Robin Blaze/Elizabeth Kenny

Blessed with a most alluring countertenor - creamy in tone, naturally expressive, exquisitely controlled - Blaze is the perfect singer for Byrd’s consort songs... Blaze delivers with a refinement any great lieder singer would be hard pushed to exceed.’ THE TIMES

‘Recommended without reservation … one of the most outstanding recitals of its kind on disc.’
BBC Music Magazine (Robin Blaze and Elizabeth Kenny 'English Lute Songs')

Orpheus and The Muses

Robin Blaze – counter-tenor voice

Pamela Thorby – recorder

Elizabeth Kenny - lute

Flute and bell player Jacob Van Eyck was named the Orpheus of Utrecht, his home town, and published the biggest surviving collection of virtuoso solo wind music of the seventeenth century, Der Fluyten Lust Hof. A similarly large collection of music - Les secrets des Muses (or Secretarum musarum) had been published in Amsterdam just a few years earlier, by lute player Nicolaes Vallet.

Both collections are remarkable portraits of musicians at the top of their professions, and both are remarkable in that they contain far more French and English music than they do Dutch, and are in fact products of a period of cross collaboration between musicians across Europe.

Our programme brings the two Dutchmen together (Vallet was born in France but spent his working life in Amsterdam), and like them, picks the very best that English and French courts and theatres had to offer in the way of songs, ballad tunes, dances and virtuoso instrumental fantasias.

Programme includes:

Dowland Songs (Can She Excuse my wrongs, Flow my tears, Now O now I needs must part) Caccini (Amarilli mia bella)

Shakespearian Songs (Farewell, dear love , Full fathom five, Where the bee sucks)

Ballads (O Lusty May, When Daphne from fair Phoebus did fly)

Interspersed with recorder and lute solos and duos by Vallet and Van Eyck, Farinel and Schop including:

Excuse Moy, Pavan d’Espagne, Bouree d’Avignon, Fantasies, Mal Simmes Bal Anglois , Courante Mars/ Est-ce Mars, Carillon de village, Ballet Gravesand/Laura, English Nightingale, Lus de mi alma, En me revenant ,O slaep/Slaep soete sleep ,Lachrime Pavaen

Masque tunes from shows by William Lawes for Charles I Cuparee, The Prince’s Masque, Ane Mask, Mt confess’ Coranto.