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An Elizabethan Christmas: Byrd, Holborne, Gibbons, Peerson, Weelkes

Viol consort Fretwork and mezzo soprano Helen Charlston explore the more reflective and sombre Christmas celebrations of Elizabethan England, in a collection of works by William Byrd, Anthony Holborne, Orlando Gibbons and Martin Peerson.

With celebrations confined strictly to the 12 days from Christmas Eve to Epiphany, the preceding Advent was regarded as a time of religious introspection, with music composed to mark both fasting and feasting. Byrd's consort songs for voice and 5 viols encompass this range, from the joyous Out of the Orient Crystal Skies - ending with an exuberant 'Falantidingdido', a word whose meaning is lost to history - to his Lullaby, a 'song of sadnes and pietie 'that became one of Byrd's most enduringly famous songs.

In 2021, Fretwork celebrates its 35th anniversary. In the past three and a half decades they have explored the core repertory of great English consort music, from Taverner to Purcell, and made classic recordings against which others are judged. In addition to this, Fretwork have become known as pioneers of contemporary music for viols, having commissioned over 40 new works.

Acclaimed for her musical interpretation, presence and “warmly distinctive tone” (The Telegraph), Helen Charlston is quickly cementing herself as a key performer in the next generation of British singers. Helen won first prize in the 2018 Handel Singing Competition and was a finalist in the Hurn Court Opera Competition, and the Grange Festival International Singing Competition.

Recorded in St Magdalen Church, Sherborne, Gloucestershire, UK from 15th – 17th May 2019 and 7th –8th October 2020
    File formats included in STUDIO QUALITY
    • FLAC 24-bit Stereo
    • FLAC 16-bit Stereo
    • MP3 Stereo
    File formats included in CD QUALITY | MP3
    • FLAC 16-bit Stereo
    • MP3 Stereo
$ 9.63
Extra material for download
  Composer: Byrd, William
01 Out of the Orient Crystal Skies 03:37 $ 0.49 USD
  Composer: Holborne, Anthony
02 Pavan 02:00 $ 0.27 USD
  Composer: Holborne, Anthony
03 As It Fell on Holie Eve 01:00 $ 0.14 USD
  Composer: Byrd, William
04 From Virgin’s Womb – Rejoice, Rejoice 06:49 $ 0.92 USD
  Composer: Holborne, Anthony
05 The Cradle 02:54 $ 0.39 USD
  Composer: Holborne, Anthony
06 Lullabie 01:33 $ 0.21 USD
  Composer: Byrd, William
07 Lullaby 12:40 $ 1.71 USD
  Composer: Gibbons, Orlando
  7 Fantasias 'for Ye Great Dooble Bass' 09:37
08 7 Fantasias 'for Ye Great Dooble Bass': No. 1 a 4 04:41 $ 0.63 USD
  Composer: Byrd, William
09 An Earthly Tree – Cast off All Doubtful Care 06:19 $ 0.85 USD
  Composer: Peerson, Martin
10 Attendite 04:34 $ 0.62 USD
  Composer: Peerson, Martin
11 Upon my Lap, my Sovereign Sits 07:14 $ 0.98 USD
  Composer: Weelkes, Thomas
12 To Shorten Winter’s Sadnesse 02:34 $ 0.35 USD
  Composer: Gibbons, Orlando
  7 Fantasias 'for Ye Great Dooble Bass' 09:37
13 7 Fantasias 'for Ye Great Dooble Bass': No. 2 a 4 04:56 $ 0.67 USD
14 Sweet was the Song the Virgin sang 02:10 $ 0.29 USD
  Composer: Holborne, Anthony
15 The New-yeares Gift 01:21 $ 0.18 USD
  Composer: Holborne, Anthony
16 Heigh Ho Holiday 00:59 $ 0.13 USD
  Composer: Byrd, William
17 O God That Guides the Cheerful Sun 05:58 $ 0.81 USD
  Album total 71:19
ComposerByrd, William
Gibbons, Orlando
Holborne, Anthony
Peerson, Martin
Weelkes, Thomas
Mezzo-sopranoCharlston, Helen
SopranoCox, Lucy
Walshe, Emma
AltoLyddon, Amy
TenorCutting, Guy
BaritoneFrame, Malachy
Bass-baritoneSaddington, Edmund

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