Who’s the fool, now?

Thomas Ravenscroft (c1582 - c1633): Martin said to his man, partsong a 4 voci (da Deuteromelia, 1609, n. 16). Pro Cantione Antiqua.
Quando la musica è puro spasso: un partsong fra i meglio riusciti di Ravenscroft magistralmente interpretato dal complesso vocale diretto da Mark Brown. Alcuni allegri ubriaconi, fra un boccale e l’altro, si divertono a spararle sempre più grosse, fino a quando uno non eccede; da ammirarsi l’arte con cui gli interpreti variano continuamente l’intonazione del testo. L’ultima fanfaronata è totalmente inverosimile: il suo autore lo sa benissimo, perciò è un po’ imbarazzato e parla/canta sottovoce: segue un attimo di silenzio che ben rappresenta lo sconcerto generale, poi l’allegra e rapida conclusione. Bravissimi tutti.

1. Martin said to his man
(fie, man, fie!),
Martin said to his man
(who’s the foole, now?),
Martin said to his man:
Fill thou the cup and I the can.
Thou hast well drunken, man!
Who’s the foole, now?

2. I see a sheep shearing corn
And a couckold blow his horn.

3. I see a man in the Moone,
Clowting of Saint Peters shoone.

4. I see a hare chase a hound,
Twenty mile aboue the ground.

5. I see a goose ring a hog.
And a snayle that did bite a dog.

6. I see a mouse catch the cat,
And the cheese to eate the rat.

3 folksongs reinterpretati da Ravenscroft

Tre brani di Thomas Ravenscroft (c1582 - c1633) eseguiti dall’ensemble Pro Cantione Antiqua.
(NB: la scritta «Arr. Brown» leggibile nei video è erronea e fuorviante: Pro Cantione Antiqua ha dato una pregevole interpretazione delle composizioni di Ravenscroft senza «arrangiarle» affatto.)

Hey hoe, to the greene wood, round (canone) a 3 voci (da Pammelia, 1609).

Ravenscroft - Hey hoe

Tomorrow the fox will come to town, partsong a 4 voci (da Deuteromelia, 1609).

Tomorrow the fox will come to town.
  Keep, keep, keep, keep, keep.
 Tomorrow the fox will come to town
  To keep you all well there.
   I must desire you neighbours all,
   To holler the fox above them all,
   And cry as loud as you can call,
   Whoop, whoop, whoop, whoop, whoop.
   O keep you all well there.

He’ll steal the cock out from the flock.

He’ll steal the hen out of the pen.

He’ll steal the duck out of the brook.

He’ll steal the lamb ev’n from his dam.

Yonder comes a courteous knight, partsong a 4 (da Deuteromelia). Notevoli il testo, che presenta alla fine una «morale» davvero curiosa 🙂 , e l’armonizzazione: Ravenscroft era assai stimato dai suoi colleghi di inizio Seicento, e se ne capisce il perché.

Yonder comes a courteous knight,
Lustely raking over the lay;
He was well ware of a bonny lasse,
As she came wand’ring over the way.
  Then she sang downe a downe, hey downe derry.

Jove you speed, fayre ladye, he said,
Among the leaves that be so greene;
If I were a king, and wore a crowne,
Full soone, fair lady, shouldst thou be a queen.

Also Jove save you, faire lady,
Among the roses that be so red;
If I have not my will of you,
Full soone, faire lady, shall I be dead.

[Then he lookt east, then hee lookt west,
He lookt north, so did he south;
He could not finde a privy place,
For all lay in the divel’s mouth.

If you will carry me, gentle sir,
A mayde unto my father’s hall,
Then shall you have your will of me,
Under purple and under paule.

[He set her up upon a steed,
And him selfe upon another,
And all the day he rode her by,
As though they had been sister and brother.

When she came to her father’s hall,
It was well walled round about;
She rode in at the wicket-gate,
And shut the foure-ear’d foole without.

You had me, quoth she, abroad in the field,
Among the corne, amidst the hay,
Where you might had your will of mee,
For, in good faith, sir, I never said nay.

[Ye had me also amid the field,
Among the rushes that were so browne,
Where you might had your will of me,
But you had not the face to lay me downe.

He pulled out his nut-browne sword,
And wipt the rust off with his sleeve,
And said: Jove’s curse come to his heart,
That any woman would beleeve!

When you have your owne true-love
A mile or twaine out of the towne,
Spare not for her gay clothing,
But lay her body flat on the ground.


Scomparsi il 5 giugno

Leonel Power (fra il 1370 e il 1385 - 5 giugno 1445): Gloria a 5 voci. Pro Cantione Antiqua.

Orlando Gibbons (1583 - 5 giugno 1625): Almighty and everlasting God, anthem a 4 voci. Coro del St John’s College di Cambridge.

Almighty and everlasting God,
mercifully look upon our infirmities,
and in all our dangers and necessities
stretch forth thy right hand to help and defend us,
through Christ our Lord. Amen.

In voce et organo

Henry Purcell (1659-21 novembre 1695): Laudate Ceciliam, «a Latine Song made upon St Cecilia, whose day is commerated [sic] yearly by all Musitians, made in the year 1683», per 3 voci, 2 violini e continuo, Z 329. Pro Cantione Antiqua e Collegium Aureum, dir. Mark Brown.

Laudate Ceciliam, in voce et organo.

Modulemini psalmum novum
In insigni die solemnitatis eius.
Quia preceptum est in ecclesia sanctorum,
Tu lex in tabernaculis iustorum.
Laudate Ceciliam, in voce et organo.

Dicite Virgini, canite martyri,
Quam excelsum est nomen tuum,
O beata Cecilia,
Tu gloria domus Dei, tu laetitia,
Quae sponsam Christo paras, respice nos.
Adeste caelites plaudite,
Psallite nobiscum Virgini, pangite melos.
Nobiscum martyri alternate laudes,
Citheris vestras iugite voces,
Citheras nostris sociate cantibus.
Laudate Ceciliam, in voce et organo.

Raffaello: Estasi di santa Cecilia

In moonshiney weather

Richard Browne (c1630 – 1664): We cats when assembl’d at midnight together, canone a 3 voci. Pro Cantione Antiqua.

We cats when assembl’d at midnight together
    for innocent puring in moonshiney weather,
if dogs be in kennel, all fast in their straw,
    we march and meaw without scratch or a claw;
but if they surprise us and put us to flight,
    we fret and we spit, give a squall, and goodnight.


I cannot come every day to woo

Thomas Ravenscroft (c1582 - c1633): A wooing song of a yeoman of Kent’s son, partsong a 1-4 voci (da Melismata, 1611, n. 22). Pro Cantione Antiqua.

I have house and land in Kent,
And if you’ll love me, love me now;
Twopence-halfpenny is my rent,
I cannot come every day to woo.
  Twopence-halfpenny is his rent,
  And he cannot come every day to woo.

Ich am my vather’s eldest zonne,
My mother eke doth love me well,
For ich can bravely clout my shoone,
And ich full well can ring a bell.
  For he can bravely clout his shoone,
  And he full well can ring a bell.

My vather he gave me a hog,
My mouther she gave me a zow;
I have a God-vather dwels thereby,
And he on me bestowed a plow.
  He has a God-vather dwells thereby,
  And he on him bestowed a plough.

One time I gave thee a paper of pins,
Another time a tawdry-lace;
And if thou wilt not grant me love,
In truth ich die bevore thy face.
  And if thou wilt not grant his love,
  In truth he’ll die bevore thy vace.

Ich have been twice our Whitson-lord,
Ich have had ladies many vair,
And eke thou hast my heart in hold
And in my mind zeems passing rare.
  And eke thou hast his heart in hold
  And in his mind seems passing rare.

Ich will put on my best white slops
And ich will wear my yellow hose,
And on my head a good grey hat,
And in’t ich stick a lovely rose.
  And on his head a good grey hat,
  And in’t he’ll stick a lovely rose.

Wherefore cease off, make no delay,
And if you’ll love me, love me now;
Or else ich zeek zome oderwhere,
For I cannot come every day to woo.
  Or else he’ll zeek zome oderwhere,
  For he cannot come every day to woo.