Section of a painting depicting the life of Sir Henry Upton showing a typical Elizabethan consort. © National Gallery, London

Thomas Tomkins – Music Divine (1622)

Tomkins: Songs of 3, 4, 5, and 6 Parts - I Fagiolini

That Tomkins’s revelatory 1622 book of 3-6 voice madrigals and motets had not been recorded before was a great surprise. This book is the final flourishing of the madrigal in England, 19 years after the death of Elizabeth I – yet it is one of the finest publications of its time, combining English melancholy, Italian sensuality and the endless invention of ‘The last Elizabethan‘.

“Fort de la perfection d’intonation et de cette melancolie distinguee, l’ensemble de Robert Hollingworth sait laisser trainer les dissonances comme le londe qui suit le cygne.” Diapason (France)

Too much I once lamented (dedicated to William Byrd)

O let me live (dedicated to John Dowland)

 

Was ever wretch tormented (dedicated to his brother)

 

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Chandos CHAN 0680
Released 2002