Early English Organ Music, Volume 1

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Early English Organ Music Vol. 1

From the Mulliner Book

1. Galliard (Anonymous) (2:31)

2. A Fancye (Newman) (1:30)

3. La Bounette; La doune cella (Anonymous)(2:13)

4. O lux with a meane (John Redford) (1:04)

5. Exultet cellum laudibus with a meane (0:51)

6. Christe qui lux (0:43)

7. Lucem tuam (1:47)

8. Christe qui lux with a meane (0:46)

9. Sermone blando angelus (0:50)

10. Eterne rerum conditor (0:44)

11. lam lucis orto sidere (1:02)

12. Te Deum (William Blitheman) (5:21)

13. A Pavan (Newman) (2:12)

14. Fantasy (Giles Farnaby) (3:36)

15. Bony Sweet Robin (4:49)

16. The Old Spagnoletta (1:49)

(Organ built by George Bozeman (1983)

St. Paul's Church. Brookline. Massachusetts)

17. Trumpet Voluntary in D (Anonymous) (3:10)

18. Voluntary in G (Henry Purcell, 1659-1695) (1:41)

19. Verse in G (Anonymous) (1:31)

20. Voluntary in D (William Boyce, 1711-1779) (3:37)

21. Voluntary in A Minor (Christopher Gibbons, 1615-1727)(2:00)

22. Voluntary in D Minor (William Croft, 1678-1727) (1:45)

From The Dancing Master (1719) (Anonymous)

23. Greensleeves and Yellow Lace (1:24)

24. The Constant Lover (1:04)

25. The British Toper (0:46)

26. The Happy Clown (0:39)

27. Salley's Fancy (0:35)

28. The Maiden's Blush (0:47)

29. London's Glory (0:58)

30. Introduction & Voluntary in G Major (3:42)

(William Walond, 1725-1770)

Suite in C (John Blow, 1649-1708)

31. Prelude (1:02)

32. Courante (1:28)

33. Fugue (2:06)

34. Voluntary in D Minor (William Croft, 1678-1727) (4:33)

(Organ built by Jeremy Adams (1989)

Annisquam Village Church, Cape Ann, Massachusetts)

European organ music, as it has been handed down in some formof instrumental notation, might have begun in England, since the earliest known source tocontain keyboard music in tablature dates from the 14th century - the Robertsbridge Codexof 1325-50. Like much English music, the keyboard repertory developed separately from thatof the Continent, not only because of geographic reasons, but due to religiousconsiderations, and the instruments themselves were subject to the sinuous events ofEnglish political upheaval. At times the effects were disastrous: church organs virtuallydisappeared during the Commonwealth. They were destroyed or sold for the price of themetal they contained. Indeed, all musical activity suffered the repercussions and tyrannyof an intransigent religion.

Because there are enormous gaps in documented information andvery few old English organs that remain, no comprehensive history of the English organ hasyet been published. But it is clear that from the earliest times onward the organ wasaccorded prominent status. Most large churches had two organs, one of which was placed inthe chancel, the other on the rood-screen. Up to the Reformation, the English organist,like his continental colleague, performed parts of the Ordinary of the mass and alternatimwith the choir, that is, alternating with a chorus that performs a plainsong thoseportions not composed for organ.

This practice, however, is not common in one of the mostimportant sources of early organ music, The MullinerBook, dating from before 1560. A unique collection of largely liturgicalpieces, it is the sole source for most of its contents. Obviously, it served less as aliturgical "workbook" for the London organist who compiled it, than as a body ofhaphazardly collected material for his own private amusement. It includes arrangements ofEnglish and foreign part-songs as well as post-Reformation plainsong settings. Many of itsworks attain considerable length, in which the accompaniment and style are varied with Irestatements of the cantus firmus. In this form, they are no longer strictly liturgical.

During the first part of the 17th century organ music wasclosely linked to the virginal style and much of it was intended to be played on pluckedkeyboard instruments as well. Virginal, after all, was a generic term, and it should benoted that not all organ music was composed for sacred services; even extended works withliturgical titles - sets of variations on the In nomine,for example - often appear in collections given over to secular music. English organs ofthat time were mostly small, some with a reed stop (regal) and portable. The choir oftensang to the doubling of sackbuts, cornetts, and the viol. The latter, in particular, was afavoured accompaniment to the verse anthem.

While liturgical music ceased under the Puritans, the chamberorgan enjoyed great popularity in spite of the seemingly inhospitable atmosphere. Theinterchange of popular songs and dances -music which "can be transported by awhistling sailor", in settings for the keyboard was prevalent.

The Restoration in 1660 brought with it an infusion ofContinental elements of design and technology and the English organ evolved substantiallythereafter in size and tonal palette. Paradoxically, considerably less emphasis was placedon solo organ-playing in the Anglican service. But the Voluntary continued to evolve as anindigenous musical form. Instead of the ill-defined piece that it was in the 16th century,it developed into a two-movement structure: a slow introduction played on the Diapasons orfull organ, followed by a faster segment spotlighting a trumpet or similarly colourfulstop. It also took advantage of the second manual (double organ) provided by the newerorgans with their diversity of registrational possibilities and effects. However, it wasnot until the 19th century when the organ was given its broadest acceptance and use thatorgan-building in England could compete with that of the rest of Europe, including thewidespread use of pedals.

The present recording emphasizes repertory drawn from theperiods separated by the Civil War: the mid-16th century, when organ and harpsichord musicbegan to emerge as separate idioms with distinct categories and forms independent of vocalmusic, and the time after the return of Charles II from France when English organ buildingbegan again in earnest through the resurgence of important builders such as Robert Dallamand Renatus Harris. Like their king, they, too, had spent much time on the Continent.

While others resisted foreign influence and continued to build organs similar to thepre-1640 period, Dallam designed a French organ for New College, Oxford. Indeed, he haddrafted a scheme for an organ incorporating French tonal principles as early as 1654 forthe Priory of Lesneven, complete with Cornet V, mixtures, and other typically Frenchfeatures.

Many builders of foreign origin also settled in England. Amongthem, Johann Snetzler, a Swiss, and Bernhard Schmidt ("Father Smith") madeinstruments that found their way to the New World. Smith was active in London from 1667and was probably the maker of an organ that was placed in King's Chapel, Boston, around1700. From that time on English organs were imported in significant numbers.

Thus, with European prototypes firmly transplanted, an Americanschool of organ builders was launched around 1750 when Thomas Johnston of Boston beganbuilding or
Disc: 1
Suite in C major
1 Galliard
2 A Fancye
3 La Bounette; La doune cella
4 O lux with a meane
5 Exultet cellum laudibus with a meane
6 Christe qui lux
7 Lucem tuam
8 Christe qui lux with a meane
9 Sermone blando angelus
10 Eterne rerum conditor
11 lam lucis orto sidere
12 Te Deum
13 A Pavan
14 Fantasy
15 Bony Sweet Robin
16 The Old Spagnoletta
17 Trumpet Voluntary in D major
18 Voluntary in G major
19 Verse in G major
20 Voluntary in D major
21 Voluntary in A Minor
22 Voluntary in D minor
23 Greensleeves and Yellow Lace
24 The Constant Lover
25 The British Toper
26 The Happy Clown
27 Salley's Fancy
28 The Maiden's Blush
29 London's Glory
30 Introduction and Voluntary in G major
31 Prelude
32 Courante
33 Fugue
34 Voluntary in D minor
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