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Fretwork|An Elizabethan Christmas

An Elizabethan Christmas

Fretwork & Helen Charlston

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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 forty 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. © Signum Classics

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An Elizabethan Christmas

Fretwork

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1
Out of the Orient Crystal Skies
00:03:37

PUBLIC DOMAIN, MusicPublisher - Richard Boothby, Conductor - William BYRD, Composer - Fretwork, Ensemble, MainArtist - Helen Charlston, MainArtist

(C) 2021 Signum Classics (P) 2021 Signum Records

2
Pavan
00:02:00

PUBLIC DOMAIN, MusicPublisher - Richard Boothby, Conductor - Fretwork, Ensemble, MainArtist - Anthony Holborne, Composer

(C) 2021 Signum Classics (P) 2021 Signum Records

3
As it Fell on Holie Eve
00:01:00

PUBLIC DOMAIN, MusicPublisher - Richard Boothby, Conductor - Fretwork, Ensemble, MainArtist - Anthony Holborne, Composer

(C) 2021 Signum Classics (P) 2021 Signum Records

4
From Virgin's Womb - Rejoice, Rejoice
00:06:49

PUBLIC DOMAIN, MusicPublisher - Richard Boothby, Conductor - William BYRD, Composer - Fretwork, Ensemble, MainArtist - Emma Walshe, MainArtist - Lucy Cox, MainArtist - Amy Lyddon, MainArtist - Helen Charlston, MainArtist

(C) 2021 Signum Classics (P) 2021 Signum Records

5
The Cradle
00:02:54

PUBLIC DOMAIN, MusicPublisher - Richard Boothby, Conductor - Fretwork, Ensemble, MainArtist - Anthony Holborne, Composer

(C) 2021 Signum Classics (P) 2021 Signum Records

6
Lullabie
00:01:33

PUBLIC DOMAIN, MusicPublisher - Richard Boothby, Conductor - Fretwork, Ensemble, MainArtist - Anthony Holborne, Composer

(C) 2021 Signum Classics (P) 2021 Signum Records

7
Lullaby
00:12:40

PUBLIC DOMAIN, MusicPublisher - Richard Boothby, Conductor - William BYRD, Composer - Fretwork, Ensemble, MainArtist - Helen Charlston, MainArtist

(C) 2021 Signum Classics (P) 2021 Signum Records

8
7 Fantasias 'For Ye Great Dooble Bass': No. 1 a 4
00:04:41

PUBLIC DOMAIN, MusicPublisher - Richard Boothby, Conductor - Orlando Gibbons, Composer - Fretwork, Ensemble, MainArtist

(C) 2021 Signum Classics (P) 2021 Signum Records

9
An Earthly Tree - Cast off All Doubtful Care
00:06:19

PUBLIC DOMAIN, MusicPublisher - Richard Boothby, Conductor - William BYRD, Composer - Fretwork, Ensemble, MainArtist - Guy Cutting, MainArtist - Emma Walshe, MainArtist - Malachy Frame, MainArtist - Amy Lyddon, MainArtist - Helen Charlston, MainArtist

(C) 2021 Signum Classics (P) 2021 Signum Records

10
Attendite
00:04:34

PUBLIC DOMAIN, MusicPublisher - Richard Boothby, Conductor - Martin PEERSON, Composer - Fretwork, Ensemble, MainArtist

(C) 2021 Signum Classics (P) 2021 Signum Records

11
Upon my Lap, my Sovereign Sits
00:07:14

PUBLIC DOMAIN, MusicPublisher - Richard Boothby, Conductor - Martin PEERSON, Composer - Fretwork, Ensemble, MainArtist - Malachy Frame, MainArtist - Amy Lyddon, MainArtist - Edmund Saddington, MainArtist - Helen Charlston, MainArtist

(C) 2021 Signum Classics (P) 2021 Signum Records

12
To Shorten Winter's Sadnesse
00:02:34

PUBLIC DOMAIN, MusicPublisher - Richard Boothby, Conductor - Thomas Weelkes, Composer - Fretwork, Ensemble, MainArtist - Helen Charlston, MainArtist

(C) 2021 Signum Classics (P) 2021 Signum Records

13
7 Fantasias 'For Ye Great Dooble Bass': No. 2 a 4
00:04:56

PUBLIC DOMAIN, MusicPublisher - Richard Boothby, Conductor - Orlando Gibbons, Composer - Fretwork, Ensemble, MainArtist

(C) 2021 Signum Classics (P) 2021 Signum Records

14
Sweet was the Song the Virgin Sang
00:02:10

Anonymous, Composer - PUBLIC DOMAIN, MusicPublisher - Richard Boothby, Conductor - Fretwork, Ensemble, MainArtist - Helen Charlston, MainArtist

(C) 2021 Signum Classics (P) 2021 Signum Records

15
The New-Yeares Gift
00:01:21

PUBLIC DOMAIN, MusicPublisher - Richard Boothby, Conductor - Fretwork, Ensemble, MainArtist - Anthony Holborne, Composer

(C) 2021 Signum Classics (P) 2021 Signum Records

16
Heigh Ho Holiday
00:00:59

PUBLIC DOMAIN, MusicPublisher - Richard Boothby, Conductor - Fretwork, Ensemble, MainArtist - Anthony Holborne, Composer

(C) 2021 Signum Classics (P) 2021 Signum Records

17
O God that Guides the Cheerful Sun
00:05:58

PUBLIC DOMAIN, MusicPublisher - Richard Boothby, Conductor - William BYRD, Composer - Fretwork, Ensemble, MainArtist - Guy Cutting, MainArtist - Malachy Frame, MainArtist - Lucy Cox, MainArtist - Amy Lyddon, MainArtist - Edmund Saddington, MainArtist - Helen Charlston, MainArtist

(C) 2021 Signum Classics (P) 2021 Signum Records

Album Description

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 forty 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. © Signum Classics

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