"An elegant anthology. The specialist will not miss the quiet sophistication with which the music has been selected and prepared. Some of it is printed here for the first time, and much of it has been edited anew." — Notes
This treasury of 47 vocal works — edited by Noah Greenberg, founder and former director of the New York Pro Musica Antiqua — will delight all lovers of medieval and Renaissance music. Containing a wealth of both religious and secular music from the 12th to the 17th centuries, the collection covers a broad range of moods, from the hearty "Blow Thy Horne Thou Jolly Hunter" by William Cornysh to the reflective and elegiac "Cease Mine Eyes" by Thomas Morley.
Of the religious works, nine were written for church services, including "Sanctus" by Henry IV and "Angús Dei" from a beautiful four-part mass by Thomas Tallis. Other religious songs in the collection come from England's rich tradition of popular religious lyric poetry, and include William Byrd's "Susanna Farye," the anonymously written "Deo Gracias Anglia" (The Agincort Carol), and Thomas Ravenscroft's "O Lord, Turne Now Away Thy Face" and "Remember O Thou Man."
Approximately half of the songs are secular, some from the popular tradition and others from the courtly poets and musicians surrounding such musically inclined monarchs as Henry VIII — who himself is represented in this collection with two charming songs, "With Owt Dyscorde" and "O My Hart." Among the notable composers of Tudor and Elizabethan England represented here are Orlando Gibbons, John Dowland, and Thomas Weelkes.