Academic journal article Notes

Henry's Music: Motets from a Royal Choirbook; Songs by Henry VIII

Academic journal article Notes

Henry's Music: Motets from a Royal Choirbook; Songs by Henry VIII

Article excerpt

Henry's Music: Motets from a Royal Choirbook; Songs by Henry VIII. Alamire; Quintessential / Andrew Lawrence-King. Obsidian CD705, 2009.

Henry VIII remains one of England's most well-known kings, infamous for his ruthlessness and for the political and religious strife between his regime and that of the Holy Roman Empire. He was also an enthusiastic patron of music (he inherited a court of six musicians and eventually increased that number to fifty-eight), an accomplished multi-instrumentalist, and a composer of significant ability. Although his accomplishment as a musician has been widely noted his actual compositions have not always received the attention they deserve. This disc brings together an interesting assortment of works from Henry VIII's environment, consisting of works written both for and by the king. At the center of the program both literally and figuratively is a collection of six motets from British Library MS Royal 11. e.xi, a choirbook that was prepared for the king and given to him in 1518, and the contents of which are recorded here for the first time. …

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