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Anthony Rooley

The Couzens Lute Book (CD)

Antony Rooley writes: "Since 1963 I had been spending many hours in the British Library studying the sixteenth-century English lute manuscripts … what a unique collection! The “Jane Pickering Lute Book”, “The John Sturt Lute Book”, “The Mynshall Lute Book” – all collections of one individual’s personal choice of repertoire, each with unique information on fingering, ornamentation, taste and style.

"I was invited by Decca to make a solo lute recital – and as no one in the company knew the repertoire, I was left alone to finalise my choice. How to choose from such wonderfully obscure collections from 400 years ago?

"Why did I choose John Cozens’ Lute Book (residing in Cambridge University Library) from the rest? Well, I admired his taste! I admired his ornamentation! I admired his clarity! It is a wonderful collection of the very best Elizabethan/Jacobean lute music – and it was about the right length for an LP. (Although in the end I made a selection rather than the complete manuscript).

"I can only say, 35 years on, I was a very lucky young man and I think I made the wisest choice – it is still a collection of very beautiful music!"

This delicious LP makes its first appearance on CD on this Decca Eloquence reissue.

ANONYMOUS
Mall Symms
John Come Kiss Me Now
Preludium VI
Pavan
THOMAS ROBINSON
The Spanish Pavan
JOHN DOWLAND
Fancy
Lachrimae Pavan
Frogg Galliard
BACHELAR
Pavan and Galliard
LAURENCINI
Fantasia
EQUITIS ROMANI
Exercitium
JOHN DANYEL
Mistress Anne Grene Her Leaves Be Greene
?T. SMYTHE
Two Galliards
W. HOLLIS
John Blundeville’s Last Farewell

Anthony Rooley, lute