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Thread: Henry Lawes (1559 - 1662)

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    Default Henry Lawes (1559 - 1662)



    Elder brother of the more famous William Lawes, Henry was also a chorister at Salisbury Cathedral where his father Thomas was a lay vicar. Like his brother and also Prince Charles (Charles I), he received a musical education from Giovanni Coperario (the Englishman John Cooper).

    Henry tutored the daughters of the Earl of Bridgewater before he was named a Gentleman of the Chapel Royal in 1626, and a member of the King's Musick in 1631. After the restoration he was appointed Musician in the Private Musick for the voices (succeeded by Henry Purcell) 1660-62. His anthem, Zadok the priest, was sung at Charles II's coronation, April 23, 1661.

    He is believed to have befriended Milton around 1630. Henry may have been instrumental in the commissioning of Milton to write Comus, a masque privately performed by Lawes and the Bridgwater children at Ludlow Castle September 29, 1634, to celebrate the Earl's elevation to Lord President of the Council of Wales.

    Henry composed well over 400 songs to become the most celebrated lyric composer of his age. His settings of verse earned him encomia from Milton, Herrick, Carew, Waller, and a number of lesser poets. In modern times, he is mentioned in the works of Pound.
    Music begins where words leave off. Music expresses the inexpressible.

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    Some of his music

    Absalom my Son



    Slide Soft



    A Dialogue Upon a Kiss

    Music begins where words leave off. Music expresses the inexpressible.

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    Senior Member Ingélou's Avatar
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    There is an mp3 of Henry Lawes' songs 'Sitting by the Streams' available from Hyperion with the Consort of Musicke, and you can listen to extracts.
    https://www.hyperion-records.co.uk/dc.asp?dc=D_CDA66135



    Another Hyperion mp3 features the countertenor Robin Blaze with theorbo player Elizabeth Kenny; 'Lawes and Lawes' features the songs of both brothers, Henry and William:
    https://www.hyperion-records.co.uk/dc.asp?dc=D_CDA67589

    Last edited by Ingélou; Apr-30-2018 at 10:39.
    My fiddle my joy.

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    Senior Member Ingélou's Avatar
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    There's a YouTube video of 13 songs by Henry Lawes sung by the Welsh contralto Helen Watts in 1957. It's crackly and slightly dated in style, but Helen Watts does have an amazing voice for conveying emotion and the beauty of Lawes' melodies shines out.

    My fiddle my joy.

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