The Cellar of Forgotten Notes
Over the past 12 months, I have had the enormous privilege of collaborating with the renowned musicologist Bruno Turner, typesetting his hand-written editions for his new collection “The Cellar of Forgotten Notes – an anthology of rare Spanish polyphony”. Bruno will be known to many through his fabulous editions published by Mapa mundi (which he co-founded in 1977). In these new editions (which are entirely public domain and may be performed freely), Bruno seeks to shed light on some of the lesser-known figures of Renaissance Spanish music with 12 specially selected pieces. All are available for both low-voiced choirs and mixed-voice choirs and several have been specially recorded by Stile Antico. To read Bruno’s commentaries and view the complete scores, click here.
I was recently commissioned by The Marian Consort and Spiritato to produce a new performing edition of a very exciting cantata by Johann Pachelbel: Gott sei uns gnädig, PWV 1209. The piece is impressively scored – it calls for 5 trumpets, timpani, 2 violins, 4 violas, Basso continuo and 5-part choir – and it was great fun to get to know this fabulous but little-known gem! It was performed at St Giles Cripplegate, London on 28th October – the concert was filmed and it can be viewed on demand here.
Throughout 2021 I’m offering a discount on all my Josquin and Philippe de Monte editions to mark their respective quincentenaries this year. Simply use the code “jdppdm500” at the checkout (or quote it in your message if ordering via the contact form) and you’ll receive a 20% discount on pieces by these composers! The offer is valid throughout 2021 and also includes pieces connected with these composers, such as Richafort’s Requiem and Gombert’s Musae Jovis.
Just a quartet
I’ve had a number of requests and recommendations for my favourite pieces in my collection for just 4 singers as choirs adjust to the current restrictions on numbers and social distancing requirements. Here are some of my suggestions (please feel free to get in touch if you would like more ideas!):
Crecquillon – Missa D’amours me plains (omitting Agnus Dei II)
Guerrero – Missa Simile est regnum (omitting Agnus Dei II)
Palestrina – Missa Emendemus in melius (omitting Agnus Dei II)
Autumn 2020 update
A couple of my editions feature on recently released recordings from two of the UK’s finest ensembles! The Queen’s Six, a vocal consort drawn from the ranks of the Lay Clerks at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, included my edition of Alonso Lobo’s O quam suavis on their latest album Journeys to the New World, a disc of Iberian polyphony found in New World sources.
In October, The Choir of Magdalen College, Oxford released an anthology celebrating the musical legacy at Magdalen – Sing, precious music – and I’m thrilled that their recording of my edition of John Sheppard’s Kyrie Lux et origo represents one of Magdalen’s most illustrious former musicians.
Elsewhere, I’ve been busy making various additions to my collection, particularly within my Spanish and Portuguese selections. There are brand new editions of works by Duarte Lobo, Sebastián de Vivanco and Francisco Garro as well as a series of motets by Vicente Lusitano, “the first Black published composer” according to the musicologist Robert Stevenson. These are all ongoing projects and I look forward to publishing more pieces by these under-appreciated composers over the coming months.
New Collaborations (Part 2)
Following on from last month’s announcement of my collaboration with Daniel Thomson, I’m delighted to introduce the work of another editor: Countertenor Alexander Turner sings with some the UK’s leading ensembles including The Sixteen and London’s Cathedral and Collegiate choirs. Alongside his performing career he is active as an editor and arts administrator and I am thrilled to add his edition of Tye’s Peccavimus cum patribus to my collection, first edited as part of his dissertation at Royal Holloway University of London. Alex says:
I came across this monumental piece during my investigation of the ‘Baldwin Partbooks’ and the music of Christopher Tye as part of my dissertation. These large-scale works are often unjustly neglected because of their perceived complexity, but I hope to prove that with a clear and concise edition, this work can be more accessible, and readily enjoyed. It’s totally worth it for the standout ‘Jesu’ cadence near the start of the piece which I hope will get performers and listeners talking more about Tye’s music!’
Alex and I are currently planning a series of other editions and I look forward to publishing these over the coming months.
New Collaborations (Part 1)
Until now the music on this site has been edited by myself and virtually all of it has been sacred in nature. However, I’m delighted to announce an exciting new collaboration.
Daniel Thomson is a London-based Tenor and an experienced performer of 16th and 17th century music. He has edited John Dowland’s complete First Book of Songs or Ayres (1597) and I am thrilled to be publishing his editions of this seminal work on this site. A priority for both our respective editorial activities is ease of use in performance. One of the main issues with previous editions of Dowland’s vocal music has been only the first verse of text is provided under the music. Mindful of this, Daniel has underlaid the text for each verse of every song, drawing on his own experience of singing this wonderful music and his studies at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis in Basel, Switzerland. He writes:
I have sung these works many times and it was great to tackle the underlay of each verse to fit the text to the notes in a way that works both rhetorically and structurally well with the other parts. I hope this helps anyone singing these incredible songs, whether experienced or trying them out for the first time!
This is an exciting new venture for Daniel and me and I hope customers will enjoy exploring this new addition to my catalogue!
I strive to make my editions both performer friendly and academically informed. Where necessary, I provide suggestions of suitable musica ficta above the stave but it should be noted that Directors need not feel bound to my decisions if they prefer alternative ficta. For example, in my editions of Clemens Ego flos campi and Tallis Loquebantur variis linguis, I have suggested flattening the leading notes at cadences, creating much stronger false relations. However, this will not work in every performance scenario (nor will it be to everyone’s taste). As with all my ficta suggestions, I believe they are plausible outcomes but for the reasons outlined above, Directors may choose to follow or ignore my suggestions as necessary.