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Tomkins: These Distracted Times, Etc / Skinner, Sutton, Fretwork, Et Al


Release Date: 04/28/2009 
Label:  Obsidian Records   Catalog #: 702   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Thomas Tomkins
Performer:  Jamal Sutton
Orchestra/Ensemble:  FretworkCambridge Sidney Sussex College ChoirAlamire
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 7 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews



TOMKINS Pavans: I; VII; VIII. Almighty God, the fountain of all wisdom. Hear my prayer. The heavens declare. Te Deum. A Fancy. Jubilate. O Lord, how manifold. I heard a voice. Magnificat. Pavan for these distracted times. Nunc dimittis. Remember me. When David heard. My help cometh from the Lord David Skinner, dir; Jamal Sutton (org); Alamire; Fretwork; Sidney Sussex College Cambridge Ch (period instruments) OBSIDIAN 702 (66:54 Read more class="ARIAL12">Text and Translation)


There is a poignant story behind this recording, titled “These Distracted Times” after a pavan that Thomas Tomkins wrote two weeks after the beheading of Charles I by order of Oliver Cromwell. Tomkins, who was at that time a gentleman of the Chapel Royal, was lamenting not only the death of the king but of the cathedral music that he loved. Tomkins died in 1656 and Cromwell two years later. When Charles II restored the monarchy in 1661, he exhumed Cromwell’s body and put its severed head on a pike, where it remained for 25 years. It fell to the ground and was eventually laid to rest in the chapel of Sidney Sussex College in Cambridge, since Cromwell had been a fellow there. Now, ironically, this recording of Tomkins’s music has been recorded in that very chapel with the participation of its choir.


The program alternates sacred and secular music with pavans and a fancy. Surrounded by other pieces are the four canticles of the Fifth Service, with the organ part played by four viols. It should be noted that the last track is listed in the headnote as in the contents, but in fact the words form the second line of “I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills.” The assorted participants in this mixed program present an overview of Tomkins’s music. When David heard is the most familiar piece, known from most Tomkins collections, but that piece, Almighty God, the fountain of all wisdom , the evening canticles of the Fifth Service, and the titular Pavan are all heard on Jeremy Summerly’s disc (23:4). Yet five of these anthems have seldom or never been recorded, so this is a real addition to the Tomkins shelf. The performances and presentation are excellent. Recommended.


FANFARE: J. F. Weber
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Works on This Recording

1. Pavans (9) a 5: no 1 by Thomas Tomkins
Performer:  Jamal Sutton (Organ)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Fretwork,  Cambridge Sidney Sussex College Choir,  Alamire
Period: Renaissance 
Notes: : David Skinner. 
2. Almighty God, the fountain of all wisdom by Thomas Tomkins
Performer:  Jamal Sutton (Organ)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Fretwork,  Cambridge Sidney Sussex College Choir,  Alamire
Period: Renaissance 
Written: England 
Notes: : David Skinner. 
3. Hear my prayer, O good Lord by Thomas Tomkins
Performer:  Jamal Sutton (Organ)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Fretwork,  Cambridge Sidney Sussex College Choir,  Alamire
Period: Renaissance 
Notes: : David Skinner. 
4. The heavens declare by Thomas Tomkins
Performer:  Jamal Sutton (Organ)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Fretwork,  Cambridge Sidney Sussex College Choir,  Alamire
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 1668; England 
Notes: : David Skinner. 
5. Fifth Service: Te Deum by Thomas Tomkins
Performer:  Jamal Sutton (Organ)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Fretwork,  Cambridge Sidney Sussex College Choir,  Alamire
Period: Renaissance 
Notes: : David Skinner. 
6. Fancy by Thomas Tomkins
Performer:  Jamal Sutton (Organ)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Fretwork,  Cambridge Sidney Sussex College Choir,  Alamire
Period: Renaissance 
Written: England 
Notes: : David Skinner. 
7. Fifth Service: Jubilate by Thomas Tomkins
Performer:  Jamal Sutton (Organ)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Fretwork,  Cambridge Sidney Sussex College Choir,  Alamire
Period: Renaissance 
Notes: : David Skinner. 
8. O Lord, how manifold are thy works by Thomas Tomkins
Performer:  Jamal Sutton (Organ)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Fretwork,  Cambridge Sidney Sussex College Choir,  Alamire
Period: Renaissance 
Notes: : David Skinner. 
9. Pavans (9) a 5: no 7 by Thomas Tomkins
Performer:  Jamal Sutton (Organ)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Fretwork,  Cambridge Sidney Sussex College Choir,  Alamire
Period: Renaissance 
Notes: : David Skinner. 
10. Fifth Service: Magnificat by Thomas Tomkins
Performer:  Jamal Sutton (Organ)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Fretwork,  Cambridge Sidney Sussex College Choir,  Alamire
Period: Renaissance 
Notes: : David Skinner. 
11. A Sad Pavan for these Distracted Times by Thomas Tomkins
Performer:  Jamal Sutton (Organ)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Fretwork,  Cambridge Sidney Sussex College Choir,  Alamire
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 1649; England 
Notes: : David Skinner. 
12. Fifth Service: Nunc dimittis by Thomas Tomkins
Performer:  Jamal Sutton (Organ)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Fretwork,  Cambridge Sidney Sussex College Choir,  Alamire
Period: Renaissance 
Notes: : David Skinner. 
13. Pavans (9) a 5: no 8 by Thomas Tomkins
Performer:  Jamal Sutton (Organ)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Fretwork,  Cambridge Sidney Sussex College Choir,  Alamire
Period: Renaissance 
Notes: : David Skinner. 
14. Remember me, O Lord by Thomas Tomkins
Performer:  Jamal Sutton (Organ)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Fretwork,  Cambridge Sidney Sussex College Choir,  Alamire
Period: Renaissance 
Written: England 
Notes: : David Skinner. 
15. Songs of 3-6 parts: When David heard that Absalom was slain by Thomas Tomkins
Performer:  Jamal Sutton (Organ)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Fretwork,  Cambridge Sidney Sussex College Choir,  Alamire
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1622; England 
Notes: : David Skinner. 
16. My shepherd is the living Lord by Thomas Tomkins
Performer:  Jamal Sutton (Organ)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Fretwork,  Cambridge Sidney Sussex College Choir,  Alamire
Period: Renaissance 
Written: England 
Notes: : David Skinner. 
17. I am the resurrection: I heard a voice from heaven by Thomas Tomkins
Performer:  Jamal Sutton (Organ)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Fretwork,  Cambridge Sidney Sussex College Choir,  Alamire
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 17th Century; England 
Notes: : David Skinner. 

Sound Samples

Pavan No. 1
Almighty God, the fountain of all wisdom
Hear my prayer, O Lord, and with thine ears
The heavens declare
The Fifth Service: Te Deum
A Fancy
The Fifth Service: Jubilate
O Lord, how manifold are thy works
Pavan No. 7
I heard a voice from heaven
The Fifth Service: Magnificat
Pavan, "for these distracted times"
The Fifth Service: Nunc dimittis
Pavan No. 8
Remember me, O Lord
When David heard
I will lift up mine eyes

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