Alan Cuckston (harpsichord) Gigges and Dompes and other Keyborde Musicke

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Gigges and Dompes and other Keyborde Musicke, Alan Cuckston, harpsichord
Alan Cuckston plays on a copy of an Italian 16th century harpsichord tuned in mean-tone (Side One) and on a copy of a French 18th century harpsichord (SideTwo, both made by John Rooks, Ticknall, Derbyshire.
Released 1972 by Vista, RCA – VICS 1693, RCA Victrola
A Vista Productions Recording, Recorded and Produced by Michael Smythe
Front sleeve: English Harpsichord dated 1623 from the Michael Thomas collection at the Harpsichord Centre, 47 Chiltern St., London. Photo by David Levin.
Thanks to Daniël, who let me browse the famous Daniël Beuman harpsichord collection

Side 1
00:00 1 Anon The short mesure of my Lady Wynkfylds Rownde, ed. Dawes Schott (MC PS)
01:51 2 Anon My lady caryes dompe, ed. and annotated Howard Ferguson OUP (MC PS)
03:44 3 Hugh Aston A Hornpype, ed. Dawes Schott (MC PS)
07:17 4 William Byrd The Galliard Jig, tr. and ed. Alan Brown
09:39 5 Richard Farnaby Nobodyes Gigge, ed. Richard Marlow Stainer & Bell (MC PS)
13:15 6. William Byrd Will you walke the woodes soe wylde, arr. Alan Brown Stainer & Bell (MC PS)
17:30 7 Thomas Tallis Offertory: Felix namque (I), ed. Denis Stevens

Side 2
27:09 1 Händel Chaconne in C major, ed. W. Rehberg (Aylesfort No. 15)
39:35 2 Händel Sonatina in A minor, ed. W. Rehberg (Aylesfort No. 44)
3 Händel Suite in A major, ed. W. Rehberg
43:43 Allemande
47:01 Courante
48:36 Sarabande
51:00 Gigue

The source of this ·and the following two pieces on this
side is the British Museum Manuscript Royal App. 58.
They date from the mid-sixteenth century and are the
earliest kno~n genuinely idiomatic English virginal
Among the interpretative liberties taken for granted
by performers of early music was the use of a type of
rubato known generally today by its French name of
“Notes inegales”. In this piece, the evenly written
quavers are played with such rubato.
A Dompe is generally considered to be a sort oflament.
Shakespeare mentions both “doleful dumps” and
(probably ironically), “merry dumps” in Romeo and
Juliet. My Lady Careys Dompe features a series of continuous
variatIons on a tonic-dominant harmony, with
the characteristic left-hand broken-chord figuration so
typical of sixteenth-century English harpsichord
3. A HORNEPYPE Hugh Aston
Aston’s dates arc usually given as c. 1480-1522, but
HowardFerguson has suggested that his idiomatic key-
board writing probably dates from a quarter century
later. Perhaps, as Frank Harrison has pointed out, the
composer is really “Hugo Asseton” who was master of.
the choristers at Newark College from 1525 to 1548.
The Hornepype is broadly divided into two halves, the
first in 3/4 time; the second in 6/8. Phraseology is
largely symmetrical, in mainly two or four bar phra-ses.
Near the beginning of the second half of the piece,
there is a sequence of almost Scarlattian skips for the
right hand, starting with an inte.rval of a third, and
extending to an octave plus a sixth. Perhaps these
mirror the leaps of the dancers?
4. THE GALLIARD JIG William Byrd
This piece is No. 7 in My Ladye Nevells Booke of 1591,
which contains keyboard music from Ryrd’s “middle
period” and is notable for its unusual form. Each
eight bar section consists of four bars, plus a varied
repeat; the fourth section is a varied repeat of the
second, and sections five to eight are a variation of
sections one to four.
5. NOBODYES GIGGE Richard Farnaby
Only four keyboard pieces survive by the son of Giles
Farnaby. Evidently his father taught him composition
as Richard’s pieces reflect his father’s distinctive style.
Nobodyes Gigge is his most successful work. Entitled
“Fleet Street” in one source, Richard Marlow has suggested
that Giles Farnaby must have been partly
responsible for composing it originally.
Byrd was nearly fifty years old when the earliest
extensive source of his keyboard music, My Ladye
Nevells Booke, was completed. This piece must have
been copied into the manuscript almost as soon as it
was composed, for it is dated I 59o-the only keyboard
work of Byrd’s actually dated . in the sout:Ces. The
fourteen variations · achieve their mellow, pastoral
effect by the simplest of means. The twelfth and
thirteenth variations are found in the Fitzwilliam
Virginal Book and Will Forster’s Virginal Book, but
not in Lady Nevell, which suggests they are probably
later additions.

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