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Milton's Comus

Comus (A Mask Presented at Ludlow Castle, 1634) was a masque written by John Milton in honour of chastity and it was first presented on Michaelmas, 1634, before John Egerton, Earl of Bridgewater at Ludlow Castle in celebration of the Earl's elevation to President of Wales with music by Henry Lawes. Milton and Lawes had a close friendship and collaborated on a number of works, but Lawes was not the last composer to write music for this masque. In Milton's 400th anniversary year, Catherine Bott travels to Ludlow Castle to explore the occasion of that first performance and the music which Comus went on to inspire. The programme includes excerpts from Comus and Milton's sonnet to Lawes: To Mr. H. Lawes, on his Aires read by Robert Glenister.

PLAYLIST:

HENRY LAWES Sitting by the Streams
Consort of Musicke/Anthony Rooley
Hyperion CDA 66135
Track 17

JOHN MILTON (father) Fair Oriana in the morn
I Fagiolini
Chandos CHAN 0682
Track 23

HENRY LAWES Sweet Stay Awhile
The Consort of Musicke/Anthony Rooley
Hyperion CDA 66135
Track 3

MAZZOCCHI La Catena d’Adone
Les Arts Florissant/William Christie
Virgin Classics 3381542
Track 2

HENRY LAWES From the heav’ns now I fly;
Robin Blaze (countertenor)/Elizabeth Kenny (theorbo)
Hyperion CDA 67589
Track 9

Segue to:

WILLIAM LAWES Country Dance;
Elizabeth Kenny (lute)
Hyperion CDA 67589
Track 12

Segue to:

HENRY LAWES Sweet Echo…
Rebecca Outram (soprano)/Elizabeth Kenny (theorbo)
Hyperion CDA 67589
Track 11

THOMAS ARNE By the Rushy-fringed bank/ Brightest Lady
Emma Kirby (soprano)/Academy of Ancient Music/Christopher Hogwood
Decca 470 372-2
Track 13 (CD2/2)

THOMAS ARNE Fame’s an Echo/ Not on Beds of Fading Flowers
Julianne Baird (soprano)/Colin Tilney (harpsichord)/Alison Mackay (viola da gamba)
Dorian DOR 90105
Tracks 7, 8

HANDEL Comus
Patrizia Kwella (soprano)/Margaret Cable (mezzo)/David Thomas (bass)/Academy of Ancient Music/Christopher Hogwood
OISEAU LYRE 421 479-2
Tracks 20-25

HENRY LAWES Sitting by the Streams
Consort of Musicke/Anthony Rooley
Hyperion CDA 66135
Track 17

Release date:

1 hour

Last on

Sun 13 Sep 2009 00:00