The Tudors: Lo, Country Sports | Australian Eloquence ELQ4822562

The Tudors: Lo, Country Sports


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Label: Australian Eloquence

Cat No: ELQ4822562

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 1

Genre: Vocal/Choral

Release Date: 14th April 2017



Another joyous anthology of verse and music from the expert, London-based ensembles of voices and viols who have already contributed several valuable reissues to ‘The Tudors’ series on Eloquence. ‘Lo, Country Sports’ takes its title from the madrigal by Thomas Weelkes, complemented by the pastoral poetry of Thomas Nashe and Edmund Bolton, among others. It was released by Argo in 1970 as part of a comprehensive series of ‘Elizabethan Life in Music, Song and Poetry’.

When making this LP, Grayston Burgess and the Purcell Consort of Voices employed the rustic accents that made a radical departure at the time from polite, sacred-style diction in this music. Indeed the secular music of composers such as Thomas Ravenscroft is still little known and even less recorded, which makes this first international CD issue all the more welcome.

In its revival of English nymphs and shepherds from the high Elizabethan era, this carefully planned album is more exuberant in tone than ‘I Love, alas’ (newly reissued on Eloquence ELQ4822570). However, there are small masterpieces such as Farewell, sweet woods and mountains by Michael East, and almains of plaintive character played both on solo lute and by the Elizabethan Consort of Viols. The poetry is read by John Neville, who attained international fame through his starring role in Terry Gilliam’s epic The Adventures of Baron Munchausen.

‘The performances are on the whole very enjoyable… The madrigals are sung very nicely… The more serious music is quite exquisite… It is an attractive record.’
- Gramophone, January 1971

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