Where beauty moves and wit delights

Thomas Ford (c1580 – 1648): Since first I saw your face, ayre (*) pubblicato nella raccolta Musicke of Sundrie Kindes (1607). Jolaine Kerley, soprano; Josephine van Lier, viola da gamba; Adam Wead, liuto.

Since first I saw your face I resolv’d
To honour and renown you;
If now I be disdain’d I wish
My heart had never known you.
What I that loved and you that liked,
Shall we begin to wrangle?
No, no, no! my heart is fast
And cannot disentangle.

If I desire or praise you too much,
That fault you may forgive me;
Or if my hands had strayed but a touch,
Then justly might you leave me.
I asked you leave, you bade me love;
Is now the time to chide me?
No, no, no! I’ll love you still,
What fortune e’er betide me.

The Sun, whose beams most glorious are,
Rejecteth no beholder,
And your sweet beauty past compare,
Made my poor eyes the bolder:
Where beauty moves and wit delights,
And signs of kindness bind me,
There, oh there! Where e’er I go
I leave my heart behind me.


Thomas Ford, Since first I saw your face


(*) Per ayre si intende un genere musicale fiorito in Inghilterra tra la fine del Cinquecento (John Dowland, The First Booke of Songes or Ayres of fowre partes with Tableture for the Lute, 1597) e la terza decade del secolo successivo. L’ayre è un brano a più voci (solitamente quattro) con ac­com­pa­gna­mento di liuto; ciò che lo distingue dalle composizioni congeneri del periodo precedente è il fatto che alla voce più acuta è affidata una parte spiccatamente melodica, sul modello della «monodia accompagnata» italiana e dell’air de cour francese. Gli interpreti hanno dunque la possibilità di eseguire un ayre o secondo tradizione, con tutte le parti vocali e con l’ac­com­pa­gna­mento del liuto ad libitum, oppure seguendo la moda dell’epoca, cioè con il canto della sola parte più acuta sostenuto dal liuto. In quest’ultimo caso, al liuto spesso si aggiunge una viola da gamba che ha il compito di irrobustire la linea del basso.

She never will say no


Thomas Campian (o Campion; 12 febbraio 1567-1620): I care not for these ladies, da A Booke of Ayres (1601). Alfred Deller, haute-contre; Desmond Dupré, liuto.

I care not for these ladies
That must be wooed and prayed:
Give me kind Amaryllis,
The wanton country maid.
Nature art disdaineth,
Her beauty is her own.
Her when we court and kiss,
She cries, “Forsooth, let go!”
But when we come where comfort is,
She never will say no.

If I love Amaryllis,
She gives me fruit and flowers:
But if we love these ladies,
We must give golden showers.
Give them gold, that sell love,
Give me the nut-brown lass,
Who, when we court and kiss,
She cries, “Forsooth, let go!”
But when we come where comfort is,
She never will say no.

These ladies must have pillows,
And beds by strangers wrought;
Give me a bower of willows,
Of moss and leaves unbought,
And fresh Amaryllis,
With milk and honey fed;
Who, when we court and kiss,
She cries, “Forsooth, let go!”
But when we come where comfort is,
She never will say no.


Campian - I care not

Elegante paccottiglia per signore



John Dowland (1563-1626): Fine knacks for ladies, dal Second Booke of Songs or Ayres (1600). The King’s Singers (*) e Collegium Vocale Bydgoszcz.

Fine knacks for ladies, cheap choice, brave and new,
Good penny worths, but money cannot move;
I keep a fair, but for the fair to view;
A beggar may be liberal of love.

Though all my wares be trash, the heart is true.

Great gifts are guiles, and look for gifts again,
My trifles come as treasures from my mind,
It is a precious jewel to be plain:
Sometimes in shell, the orient pearls we find.

Of others take a sheaf, of me a grain!

Within the pack: pins, points, laces and gloves,
And diverse toys, fitting a country fair;
But my heart lives [But in my heart], where duty serves and loves:
Turtles and twins, court’s brood, a heav’nly pair.

Happy the heart that thinks of no removes.

(*) L’interpretazione dei King’s Singers dura in effetti 2′ 21″.


Mi fa morire

John Dowland (1563-20 febbraio 1626): Lasso vita mia, ayre (da A Pilgrimes Solace, 1612). Michael Chance, controtenore; Monica Huggett, violino; Bruce Dickey, cornetto; Paul Beyer, liuto e direzione.

Lasso vita mia, mi fa morire,
Crudel amor mio cor consume,
Da mille ferite, che mi fa morir.
Ahi me, deh, che non mi fa morire.
Crudel amor mi fa sofrir mille martire.


Dowland - Lasso vita mia p. 1

A Musicall Banquet – III

John Dowland (1563 - 1626): Lady if you so spite me, ayre. Martyn Hill, tenore; Anthony Rooley, liuto; Trevor Jones, viol.
Il brano fu pubblicato dal figlio del compositore, Robert (1591 - 1641), nella raccolta A Musicall Banquet. Furnished with a varietie of delicious Ayres, Collected out of the best Authors in English, French, Spanish and Italian (Londra 1610).

Lady if you so spight me,
Wherfore do you so oft kisse and delight mee?
Sure that my hart opprest and overcloyed,
May breake thus overjoyde,
If you seeke to spill mee,
Come kisse me sweet and kill mee,
So shal your hart be eased,
And I shall rest content and dye well pleased.


Dowland, Liyssm

While she for triumphs laughs


John Dowland (1563-1626): Come again, ayre, dal First Booke of Songes (1597). Barbara Bonney, soprano; Jacob Heringman, liuto.



Lo stesso brano interpretato da membri del Consort of Musicke: Martyn Hill, tenore; Anthony Rooley, liuto; Trevor Jones, bass viol.

Come again! sweet love doth now invite
Thy graces that refrain
To do me due delight,
To see, to hear, to touch, to kiss, to die,
With thee again in sweetest sympathy.

Come again! that I may cease to mourn
Through thy unkind disdain;
For now left and forlorn
I sit, I sigh, I weep, I faint, I die
In deadly pain and endless misery.

All the day the sun that lends me shine
By frowns do cause me pine
And feeds me with delay;
Her smiles, my springs that makes my joys to grow,
Her frowns the Winters of my woe.

All the night my sleeps are full of dreams,
My eyes are full of streams.
My heart takes no delight
To see the fruits and joys that some do find
And mark the storms are me assign’d.

Out alas, my faith is ever true,
Yet will she never rue
Nor yield me any grace;
Her eyes of fire, her heart of flint is made,
Whom tears nor truth may once invade.

Gentle Love, draw forth thy wounding dart,
Thou canst not pierce her heart;
For I, that do approve
By sighs and tears more hot than are thy shafts
Did tempt while she for triumph laughs.

Che cos’è dunque l’amore, se non tormento?

Philip Rosseter (1567 o 1568 – 5 maggio 1623): What then is love but mourning, ayre (1601). Alfred Deller, haute-contre, e Desmond Dupré, liuto (Parigi, 16 dicembre 1972).

What then is love but mourning,
What desire but a selfburning,
Till she that hates doth love return,
Thus will I mourn,
Thus will I sing,
Come away, come away my darling.

Beauty is but a blooming,
Youth in his glory entombing,
Time hath a while which none can stay,
Then come away,
While thus I sing,
Come away, come away my darling.

Summer in winter fadeth,
Gloomy night heav’nly light shadeth,
Like to the mourn are Venus’ flowers,
Such are her hours,
Then will I sing,
Come away, come away my darling.