Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
English Ayres by Thomas Campion
Genres: Pop, Classical
Listen to Samples
A voice teacher and early music fan
George Peabody | Planet Earth | 12/23/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"HUMANITY'S FOIBLES REVEALED BY TOM CAMPION;
SUNG MOST CHARMINGLY BY THE UK'S 'SONG CHAMPIONS'.
THE ENGLISH AYRES, a group organized by lutenist Nigel North and 'devoted exclusively to English Song of the late Seventeenth Century'is made up of three singers: Rachel Elliott (sop), Mark Padmore (tenor) and Peter Harvey (baritone); Michael Chance is the soloist and 'guest' artist on the disc. They are joined by another specialty group, Concordia, which makes use of viols of all shapes and sizes. Most all the tunes are solos and one of the solo highlights is Michael Chance's very moving rendition of 'Never weather-beaten Sail'.
Although Campions' songs are written as solo songs he stated at the time that they may also be enjoyed as part songs. On this CD they are tastefully mixed both vocally and instrumentally. There are trios with soprano, tenor, baritone and lute where the lute is treated almost like another voice part. Each of the singers has a solo or two and Chance has several.
It is also good to keep in mind that Thomas Campion (l567-l620) was a poet as well as a musician who had the capability of putting together the two art forms, words and music. As he says, "lovingly coupled together." From over 100 songs it was difficult to select only 25, but Campion helped us by placing his prize songs often at the beginning of a volume. And it is certainly appropriate to present these chosen songs with varied vocal combinations.
The first song 'Come Cheerful Day' presented most charmingly speaks to the adage: 'In the midst of life, there is death' or vice versa (a trio of soprano(Rachel Elliott), tenor(Mark Padmore) and baritone(Peter Harvey). The second song 'The peaceful westerne winde'(also a trio) speaks of the joys and glories of nature in Spring. True love and its desires 'Turn Backe, you wanton flyer' (countertenor solo) sung most enticingly by Michael Chance. And the fourth song I personally have always taken great delight in hearing, regardless of what type voice sings it; in this case Chance. 'It Fell on a Summer day' involves some feminine subterfuge and male aggressiveness. And who could resist the song 'I care not for these ladies' that speaks of the selfish Amarillis sung so well by Peter Harvey (baritone). Rachel Elliot (soprano) sings of betrayal 'My love hath vowed' and Mark Padmore (tenor) in the song 'Sweet, exclude mee not' bemoans of his forced marriage. And so it goes!!! All of these and more accompanied VERY skillfully by Nigel North and/or Concordia.
This is a superb disc in every way, and if you are a lover of the lute song, you must have this, for it provides an inordinate amount of pleasure!!!"