Mr Tomkins: His Lessons of Worthe | Mirare MIR137

Mr Tomkins: His Lessons of Worthe


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Label: Mirare

Cat No: MIR137

Barcode: 3760127221371

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 1

Genre: Instrumental

Release Date: 1st August 2011



Thomas Tomkins may be the least known of the composers recorded here, but we have unique insights into the Worcester composer, as his autograph manuscripts have been preserved in his own hand, in particular Re.1122 in the Bibiothèque National in Paris. This recording takes Tomkins' advice to a copyist, or ‘lessons of worthe’, and applies it to a recital programme: “placed in their owne native keyes: not mingling or mangling them together w[i]th others of contrary keys: But put in theyr Right places.”

The pieces in G are played on a copy by Malcolm Rose of the harpsichord built by Lodewijk Theeuwes in 1579, now in the V & A; those is D are on a claviorgan. This hybrid instrument combines a harpsichord and an organ, both operated from the harpsichord keyboard. Here an Italian harpsichord by Philippe Humeau is coupled with a positive organ by Etienne Fouss.

Lastly, the pieces in A are performed on a magnificent invention by the builder Philippe Humeau, a diminutive Italian harpsichord in sequoia with 8’ and 4’ stops. All of these instruments are pitched at A440.

An excellent booklet essay by Alan Brown is included.

Bertrand Cuiller is one of the most promising harpsichordists of today. This French prodigy studied with Christophe Rousset and Pierre Hantaï and was a prizewinner at the Bruges International Harpsichord competition. He has played with such prestigious ensembles as Le Concert Spirituel, Stradivaria, Le Poème Harmonique and La Rêveuse and has recorded for Alpha and Mirare.

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