Monday, November 15, 2010

John Renbourn - The Lady And The Unicorn (1969 England) @320

This record contains a variety of instrumental pieces including medieval music, folk tunes and early classical music. The oldest are probably the English dance tune 'Trotto' and the Italian 'Saltarello', to which I have added a drone accompaniment, tuning the guitar to DGDGCD. 'Lamento di Tristan' and 'La Rotta' are fourteenth century Italian pieces played originally on vielle. They too are without harmony but have the tune doubled either on sitar or glockenspiel.
The three part conductus 'Veri Floris', composed during the Notre Dame period, is a setting for the words 'Under the figure of the true flower which the pure root produced, the loving devotion of our clergy has made a mystical flower constructing an allegorical meaning beyond ordinary useage from the nature of a flower".
This is followed by the triple ballade 'Sancuer-Armordolens-Dameparvous' of Guillaume de Machaut.
'Bransle Gay' and 'Bransle de Bourgogne' are from the danceries of Claude Gervaise, composed in about 1550. The first is played on solo guitar but the second uses flute, fiddle and has a second guitar line added. The anonymous 'Alman' is taken from the Fitzwilliam Virginal Book and is followed by 'Melancholy Galliard' by the English lutanist John Dowland. The sequence concludes with the 'Sarabande' in B Minor by J. S. Bach.
The album ends with two short guitar pieces, 'The Lady And The Unicorn' and an arrangement of the sixteenth century song 'Westron Wynde', and arrangements for flute, viola and guitar of two folk songs: 'My Johnny Was A Shoemaker' and 'Scarborough Fair'.
I have not presumed to reproduce early music as it would originally have been played, but hope nevertheless that the qualities of the music can be enjoyed, though interpreted on more recent instruments.

01. Trotto / Saltarello
02. Lamento Di Tristan / La Rotta
03. Veri Floris / Triple Ballade
04. Bransle Gay / Bransle De Bourgogne
05. Alman / Melancholy Galliard
06. Sarabande
07. The Lady And The Unicorn
08. My Johnny Was A Shoemaker / Westron Wynde / Scarborough Fair

John Renbourn: guitars and sitar
Terry Cox: hand-drums and glockenspiel
Don Harper: viola
Lea Nicholson: concertina
Tony Roberts: flute
Ray Warleigh: flute
Dave Swarbrick: violin



Ric said...

Fantastic posting. Very interesting interpretation of medieval music.

casamaravilla said...

I've always loved this album but I haven't played it in ages--thanks for reminding me about it.

Anonymous said...

Zillion Thanks Crimson King!
Splendid record!


Anonymous said...

As all Renbourn´s works, fantastic. Thank you very much, CrimsonKing. Go on with your blog.

Angus said...

I like everything Renbourn ever made... thanks so much!

Anonymous said...

thanks much, appreciate the work.

TheRedHippieTeenager said...

o began listening to Renbourn about a year ago, i was still 15 years Old and got competelly fascinated by it. I listened to his Pentangle work and then some of his solo work. John Renbourn Group included. Go Check My reviews of Pentangle, S. John, Faro Annie and A Maid in Bedlam at my Blog.
Ty for the Share, listening to it already as i write.

Celestial Elf said...

Great Post.
I thought you might enjoy machinima film about the folk song Scarborough Fair
along with my speculative conjecture that this may have arisen from Spencer's poem The Faerie Queene
Best Wishes.

CrimsonKing said...


The Lady And The Unicorn


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