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The King's Singers|Tom and Will

Tom and Will

The King's Singers & Fretwork

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2023 marks the quatercentenary of the death of two huge names of the English Renaissance: William Byrd and Thomas Weelkes. Such an occasion calls for a gala of tribute albums and commemorative concerts. Of course, you need a cast worthy of kicking off these festivities, and who better than the legendary a cappella ensemble The King’s Singers and the viol quintet Fretwork? The two ensembles, both of which are internationally renowned for their cutting-edge work on early music, are simply delightful in this new recording, where the works of “Tom” and “Will” are set against each other. It's a stunning combination of secular and sacred, madrigals and instrumentals, dances and elegies. Listeners are also treated to the world premiere of two contemporary creations by Sir James MacMillan (‘Ye sacred muses’) and Roderick Williams (‘Death, be not proud’). These compositions are adapted from two elegies composed by Byrd and Weelkes respectively. Byrd’s elegy was written upon the death of his teacher, Thomas Tallis. Likewise, Weelkes’ was written upon the death of his teacher, Thomas Morley.


A special mention must go to Fretwork's gambists, who put forward an assertive take on the melodies and showcase an exceptional mastery of metre and delay. The instruments and vocalists come together in perfect harmony, with the singers becoming one powerful voice that’s always perfectly intelligible. Four centuries after their deaths, "Tom" and "Will" still resonate with an immense grace that will stick with you long after the music stops. © Pierre Lamy/Qobuz

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Tom and Will

The King's Singers

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1
Praise Our Lord All Ye Gentiles
The King's Singers
00:02:47

Anonymous, Composer - PUBLIC DOMAIN, MusicPublisher - William BYRD, Composer - Fretwork, Ensemble, MainArtist - The King's Singers, Ensemble, MainArtist

(C) 2022 Signum Classics (P) 2023 Signum Records

2
If Women Could Be Fair
The King's Singers
00:03:42

PUBLIC DOMAIN, MusicPublisher - William BYRD, Composer - Fretwork, Ensemble, MainArtist - The King's Singers, Ensemble, MainArtist - Christopher Bruerton, MainArtist - Edward de Vere, Composer

(C) 2022 Signum Classics (P) 2023 Signum Records

3
Say Dear, When Will Your Frowning Leave
The King's Singers
00:02:47

PUBLIC DOMAIN, MusicPublisher - Thomas Weelkes, Composer - Fretwork, Ensemble, MainArtist - The King's Singers, Ensemble, MainArtist - Jonathan Howard, MainArtist - Edward Button, MainArtist

(C) 2022 Signum Classics (P) 2023 Signum Records

4
Like Two Proud Armies
The King's Singers
00:01:42

PUBLIC DOMAIN, MusicPublisher - Thomas Weelkes, Composer - The King's Singers, Ensemble, MainArtist

(C) 2022 Signum Classics (P) 2023 Signum Records

5
Pavan No. 3
Fretwork
00:02:42

PUBLIC DOMAIN, MusicPublisher - Thomas Weelkes, Composer - Fretwork, Ensemble, MainArtist

(C) 2022 Signum Classics (P) 2023 Signum Records

6
Thule, The Period of Cosmography
The King's Singers
00:04:12

PUBLIC DOMAIN, MusicPublisher - Thomas Weelkes, Composer - The King's Singers, Ensemble, MainArtist

(C) 2022 Signum Classics (P) 2023 Signum Records

7
What Joy So True
The King's Singers
00:04:51

PUBLIC DOMAIN, MusicPublisher - Thomas Weelkes, Composer - Fretwork, Ensemble, MainArtist - The King's Singers, Ensemble, MainArtist - Julian Gregory, MainArtist - Edward Button, MainArtist - Patrick Dunachie, MainArtist

(C) 2022 Signum Classics (P) 2023 Signum Records

8
In Nomine A4
Fretwork
00:01:33

PUBLIC DOMAIN, MusicPublisher - Thomas Weelkes, Composer - Fretwork, Ensemble, MainArtist

(C) 2022 Signum Classics (P) 2023 Signum Records

9
Ye Sacred Muses (1)
The King's Singers
00:03:18

PUBLIC DOMAIN, MusicPublisher - William BYRD, Composer - Fretwork, Ensemble, MainArtist - The King's Singers, Ensemble, MainArtist - Patrick Dunachie, MainArtist

(C) 2022 Signum Classics (P) 2023 Signum Records

10
Ye Sacred Muses (2)
The King's Singers
00:07:04

Fretwork, Ensemble, MainArtist - James MacMillan, Composer - The King's Singers, Ensemble, MainArtist - Boosey & Hawkes, MusicPublisher

(C) 2022 Signum Classics (P) 2023 Signum Records

11
In Nomine A5 (1)
Fretwork
00:02:49

PUBLIC DOMAIN, MusicPublisher - Thomas Weelkes, Composer - Fretwork, Ensemble, MainArtist

(C) 2022 Signum Classics (P) 2023 Signum Records

12
Hark, All Ye Lovely Saints
The King's Singers
00:03:06

PUBLIC DOMAIN, MusicPublisher - Thomas Weelkes, Composer - The King's Singers, Ensemble, MainArtist

(C) 2022 Signum Classics (P) 2023 Signum Records

13
Death Hath Deprived Me
The King's Singers
00:02:23

PUBLIC DOMAIN, MusicPublisher - Thomas Weelkes, Composer - The King's Singers, Ensemble, MainArtist

(C) 2022 Signum Classics (P) 2023 Signum Records

14
Death Be Not Proud
The King's Singers
00:07:46

John Donne, Composer - Roderick Williams, Composer - Fretwork, Ensemble, MainArtist - The King's Singers, Ensemble, MainArtist - Peters Edition, MusicPublisher

(C) 2022 Signum Classics (P) 2023 Signum Records

15
In Nomine A5 (2)
Fretwork
00:03:02

PUBLIC DOMAIN, MusicPublisher - Thomas Weelkes, Composer - Fretwork, Ensemble, MainArtist

(C) 2022 Signum Classics (P) 2023 Signum Records

16
Who Made Thee Hob?
The King's Singers
00:01:34

PUBLIC DOMAIN, MusicPublisher - William BYRD, Composer - Fretwork, Ensemble, MainArtist - The King's Singers, Ensemble, MainArtist - Nick Ashby, MainArtist - Christopher Bruerton, MainArtist

(C) 2022 Signum Classics (P) 2023 Signum Records

17
This Sweet and Merry Month of May
The King's Singers
00:02:11

PUBLIC DOMAIN, MusicPublisher - William BYRD, Composer - The King's Singers, Ensemble, MainArtist

(C) 2022 Signum Classics (P) 2023 Signum Records

18
Browning (The Leaves Be Green)
The King's Singers
00:04:41

Anonymous, Composer - PUBLIC DOMAIN, MusicPublisher - William BYRD, Composer - Fretwork, Ensemble, MainArtist - The King's Singers, Ensemble, MainArtist

(C) 2022 Signum Classics (P) 2023 Signum Records

19
Alack, When I Look Back
The King's Singers
00:05:34

PUBLIC DOMAIN, MusicPublisher - William BYRD, Composer - Fretwork, Ensemble, MainArtist - The King's Singers, Ensemble, MainArtist - Julian Gregory, MainArtist - William Hunnis, Composer

(C) 2022 Signum Classics (P) 2023 Signum Records

20
O Lord Make Thy Servant Elizabeth
The King's Singers
00:03:09

PUBLIC DOMAIN, MusicPublisher - William BYRD, Composer - The King's Singers, Ensemble, MainArtist

(C) 2022 Signum Classics (P) 2023 Signum Records

Album review

2023 marks the quatercentenary of the death of two huge names of the English Renaissance: William Byrd and Thomas Weelkes. Such an occasion calls for a gala of tribute albums and commemorative concerts. Of course, you need a cast worthy of kicking off these festivities, and who better than the legendary a cappella ensemble The King’s Singers and the viol quintet Fretwork? The two ensembles, both of which are internationally renowned for their cutting-edge work on early music, are simply delightful in this new recording, where the works of “Tom” and “Will” are set against each other. It's a stunning combination of secular and sacred, madrigals and instrumentals, dances and elegies. Listeners are also treated to the world premiere of two contemporary creations by Sir James MacMillan (‘Ye sacred muses’) and Roderick Williams (‘Death, be not proud’). These compositions are adapted from two elegies composed by Byrd and Weelkes respectively. Byrd’s elegy was written upon the death of his teacher, Thomas Tallis. Likewise, Weelkes’ was written upon the death of his teacher, Thomas Morley.


A special mention must go to Fretwork's gambists, who put forward an assertive take on the melodies and showcase an exceptional mastery of metre and delay. The instruments and vocalists come together in perfect harmony, with the singers becoming one powerful voice that’s always perfectly intelligible. Four centuries after their deaths, "Tom" and "Will" still resonate with an immense grace that will stick with you long after the music stops. © Pierre Lamy/Qobuz

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