First published in 1998, this volume comprises papers given at a conference on Lawes and his music held at Oxford in September 1995 to commemorate the 350th anniversary of his death. They examine not only Lawes’s music but the milieu in which he worked. Part One examines the musical life of the English Court in Lawes’s day, noting his activities there and his involvement with companies of players. Manuscript studies and a detailed account of the fatal battle are also included. Part Two comprises seven essays exploring the wide range of his instrumental and vocal music.
William Lawes is acknowledged as the most exciting and innovative composer working in England during the reign of Charles I. His tragic early death at the Siege of Chester in 1645 only served to heighten his reputation among his contemporaries, lending him also the cloak of martyrdom in the service of his king.
Part 1. The Environment. 1. William Lawes and the ‘Lutes, Viols and Voices’. Andrew Ashbee. 2. William Lawes’s Music for Plays. Julia K. Wood. 3. ‘That Sacred Oratory’: Religion and the Chapel Royal during the Personal Rule of Charles I. Anthony Milton. 4. The True Christmas: Carols at the Court of Charles I. David Pinto. 5. Images of Virtue and War: Music in Civil War Oxford. Jonathan P. Wainwright. 6. Paper in English Music Manuscripts: 1620-1645. Robert Thompson. 7. Wednesday, 24 September, 1645 – The Death of William Lawes during the Battle of Rowton Heath at the Siege of Chester. Layton Ring. 8. ‘Choice Psalmes’: A Brother’s Memorial. Andrew Robinson. Part 2. The Music. 9. Formality and Rhetoric in English Fantasia-Suites. Christopher D.S. Field. 10. New Lamps for Old: The Versions of the Royall Consort. David Pinto. 11. The Aire in William Lawes’s Five- and Six-Part Consort Sets for Viols and Organ: A Comparison and Analysis. Mark Davenport. 12. Lawes’s Division Viol. Pedigree of an Instrument. Annette Otterstedt. 13. William Lawes’s Lyra Viol Music: Some Observations. Frank Traficante.
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