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The Night Watch: la volta
To read the history of la volta, visit www.earlymusicmuse.com/lavolta
La volta is the name of a dance type rather than a specific melody, so there were many individual tunes named La Volta. The first here is English, from Margaret Board’s handwritten lute book, c.1620 and 1635, reset for renaissance guitar. The second is German, from Terpsichore, 1612, a compendium of dance music collected by German composer Michael Praetorius. The superimposed dancers are Nonsuch, and their full video can be seen at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3TTe473IERE
The Night Watch: drive the cold Winter away
Performed at Artrix Arts Centre, 25th November 2017.
Ian Pittaway: bray harp. Andy Casserley: vocal, recorder.
To read about this song, go to https://earlymusicmuse.com/drivethecoldwinteraway/
The Night Watch : An hevenly Songe
An hevenly Songe is from the 15th century manuscript, Arch. Selden B.26, England, c. 1425–50. We have ever-so slightly modernised the words. www.the-night-watch.org.uk
The Night Watch : Edi beo þu heuene quene
To read about Edi beo þu heuene quene, visit https://earlymusicmuse.com/edi-beo-thu-hevene-quene/
The Night Watch : ductia (or nota), 13th century
This instrumental two part polyphonic piece is from Harley 978, folio 8v.-9, England, 1250–1275, and is without title in the manuscript. It is often called a ductia (untexted, phrases of equal length) in modern commentaries, but it may also fit the description of a nota (untexted, a type of ductia, 4 phrases of equal length). Both descriptions are given by Johannes de Grocheio (or Grocheo, or Jean de Grouchy), Parisian music theorist, in his Ars musicae (The art of music), c. 1300. In this performance we hear the “cantus inferior” on gittern accompanied by a rebec drone, the “cantus superior” on rebec accompanied by a gittern drone, then the two parts played together, largely in contrary motion. To read more about the gittern and rebec, see www.earlymusicmuse.com
The Night Watch: Fortune my foe (orpharion, recorder, voices)
The Night Watch play the 1590 broadside, Fortune my foe, played on orpharion, recorder and voices. To read about the orpharion, visit www.earlymusicmuse.com/bandora-orpharion
Delilah (in the style of William Shakespeare) - The Night Watch
A recently-found broadside ballad folded into a manuscript from Glamorgan reveals that William Shakespeare stole some of his best and most famous lines from a 16th century song he knew in his youth, reconstructed here by The Night Watch. To read more, go to http://earlymusicmuse.com/the-song-shakespeare-stole-from/
The Night Watch: My Lady and her Mayd (William Ellis) 1652
William Ellis’ 'My Lady and her Mayd' from 'Catch that Catch can', 1652, sung by The Night Watch. This surprising song is one of many examples of the bottom burp in early music and literature. For more, see 'A brief history of farting in early music and literature' at http://earlymusicmuse.com/a-brief-history-of-farting/
The Night Watch : Tourdion - Quand je bois du vin clairet
Crumhorn played by Andy Casserley, lute by Ian Pittaway, together as The Night Watch, playing their arrangement of the 16th century French traditional song/dance tune in the form of a tourdion, Quand je bois du vin clairet / When I’m drinking claret.
For an article on the history of the crumhorn, go to http://earlymusicmuse.com/crumhorn-short-history/
For the history of the lute, visit http://earlymusicmuse.com/lutethumbnailhistory/
The Night Watch www.the-night-watch.org.uk
The Night Watch : La Quinte Estampie Real
The Night Watch (Ian Pittaway on gittern, Andy Casserley on simfony) play La Quinte Estampie Real (The Fifth Royal Estampie) from one of the oldest manuscripts of French courtly repertory, Manuscrit du Roy, compiled c.1250 (songs) and c.1300 (dances). With thanks to Derek Lovell for filming.