Tuesday, 11 December 2007

26. John Wilbye - Madrigals (1598 - 1609)


Title: The Silver Swan
Performer: Consort of Musicke
Director: Anthony Rooley
Year: 1998
Length: 53 minutes


This is coming from a recording of English Madrigals only a part of it consists of Wilbye's work and that is what I am reviewing. There are some inclusion on this list, particularly in the early music section that I suppose can only be here because it is an English composer.

Wilbye is not that impressive or important in the greater scheme of things actually, his music is a bit of a throwback in the very dispersed polyphonies, and he does not hold a candle to the madrigals of Gesualdo or Monteverdi or to the lute songs of Dowland.

Basically it is some more interesting music mainly because of the somewhat funny lyrics which are almost unintelligible because of the polyphonic quality of the work. But frankly I wouldn't go out of my way to hear it again.

Final Grade



From Wikipedia:

Wilbye is probably the most famous of all the English madrigalists; his pieces have long been favourites and are often included in modern collections. His madrigals include Weep, weep o mine eyes and Draw on, sweet night. His style is characterized by delicate writing for the voice, acute sensitivity to the text and the use of "false relations" between the major and minor modes.

Adieu Sweet Amaryllis, although this is a particularly bad performance:

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