LADY MAGGIE’S LILT: MUSIC FROM THE LUTE BOOK OF LADY MARGARET WEMYSS, 1629-1648 • Martin Eastwell (lt) • MMC 104 (62:53)
Uniquely in my experience, this disc contains 45 short pieces, mostly anonymous, a body of work that comprises about half of what has been found in the book of the Scottish Lady Margaret Wemyss, who started a book of music and poems when she was 12. Many of the tunes played here are simple arrangements of Scottish tunes: Martin Eastwell suggests that the book is particularly interesting for the insights it provides intoRead more Scottish folk music. Eastwell has added seven preludes of his own devising to groups of pieces he feels hold together. He has also added embellishments to I Never Knew I Loved Thee, and borrowed the last piece, The Flowers of the Forest from another contemporary Scottish book. Flowers was written as an elegy for Lady Margaret. Half of the collection, according to Eastwell, is of French origin: He includes pieces by Gaultier, Lespine, Mesangeau, Dufault, and de Chancy. Many of the pieces, such as The Corbie and the Pigot, are very simple though pretty. There are laments, and sprightly songs like Fair and Louky. The competition here is with a disc by Jakob Lindberg, though that disc only duplicates some of the music found here. Lindberg’s Lady Binnis Lilt is much more folksy and dance-like than is Eastwell’s rendition. There’s something a little wild about Lindberg’s playing. In these small pieces, Eastwell is restrained and lyrical. The disc may not contain towering masterpieces, but it surely is pleasant to listen to.