Magazine article Gramophone

'Music for Troubled Times'

Magazine article Gramophone

'Music for Troubled Times'

Article excerpt

'Music for Troubled Times' Byrd O Lord, make thy servant Charles Child O Lord God, the heathen are come into thine inheritance Hutchinson Behold how good and joyful a thing is Jeffreys How wretched is the state H Lawes A Funeral Anthem W Lawes Music, the master of thy art is dead. Psalm 6, 'Lord, in thy wrath reprove me not'. Psalm 18, '0 God, my strength and fortitude'. Psalm 22, '0 God, my God'. Psalm 67, 'Have mercy on us, Lord'. Psalm 100, 'All people that on earth do dwell'. See how Cawood's dragon looks Locke How doth the city sit solitary Tomkins O God, the proud are risen against me. Sad Pavan for These Distracted Times Wilson My God, my King, incline thine ear The Ebor Singers / Paul Gameson Resonus (F) RES10194 (77' * DDD * T)

William Lawes is better known for his instrumental music than for vocal music, and his brother Henry's reputation today rests principally on his songs. This recital of Carolinian sacred music offers a focused look at the pair in a largely unfamiliar setting, with (this being from The Ebor Singers) a significant nod in the direction of the Siege of York in 1644. One might not expect to find William at his most daring in music of this sort, and in truth not all the music here is top-notch (the setting of Psalm 6, for instance). But at its best there's much to enjoy: the setting of Psalm 22 is more successful, and every now and then a recognisable gesture will leap out at those who know his consort music well.

These committed and sympathetic performances take wing, generally speaking, when Lawes does so himself (again, Psalm 22, the most substantial work recorded here, is a conspicuous success). …

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