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Deo Gracias Anglia!

Alamire / Lawrence-king / Grebil / Skinner
Release Date: 09/25/2012 
Label:  Obsidian Records   Catalog #: 709   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  TraditionalAnonymousEnglish Polyph Anonymous
Performer:  Michaël GrébilAndrew Lawrence-KingPamela Thorby
Conductor:  David Skinner
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 5 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews



DEO GRACIAS ANGLIA! David Skinner, cond; Alamire OBSIDIAN CD 709 (65:09 Text and Translation)


One might be forgiven for confusing this disc with the similarly named Aeon release ( Fanfare 36:3), but only four songs are common to both programs, including the titular item. This disc is drawn from the Trinity Carol Roll, a parchment over six feet long that evidently dates from the early 15th century (certainly after 1415), written by Norfolk natives, but its Read more provenance before its 19th-century donation to Trinity College, Cambridge, is unknown. The 13 Trinity carols are divided into two groups separated by another group of five contemporary carols (three instrumental, two sung) that are found in modern editions. The Trinity roll is the earliest source for the English polyphonic carol. The performers include four singers and three players, among them Andrew Lawrence-King, who has played harp with numerous early-music ensembles (on over 100 recordings, it says here). Here he uses a gothic harp and psaltery. The cover reproduces the Agincourt carol (that’s the title piece on this disc) from the Trinity roll. The performances, some of them dispensing with instruments, are charming. The notes are helpful, especially with reference to the Great Vowel Shift that occurred in the pronunciation of English later in the century. This is a subject that affects early music but is more often discussed under language arts. (Certainly many laymen must have wondered why English vowels are different than all other European languages.) The macaronic texts (Latin phrases that occur, usually as a refrain, in vernacular poems) are discussed too.


We have had endless collections of carols (usually Christmas carols, of course) on disc, even a few that focus on the medieval repertoire, but this is an unusually rewarding program. I pulled three or four CDs off the shelf for comparison, but they were all Christmas collections that included music of other countries along with a few of these English carols. It’s hard to find this sort of repertoire on disc; this seems to have little competition, either in content or quality of performance. This is really lovely, but I must ask once again for the proprietors to reconsider their decision to skimp on the cost of a decent package in favor of the flimsy piece of cardboard that they use.


FANFARE: J. F. Weber
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Works on This Recording

1. Nowel, Nowel, Nowel, carol (English) by Traditional
Performer:  Michaël Grébil (Lute), Andrew Lawrence-King (Gothic Harp), Pamela Thorby (Gemshorn),
Andrew Lawrence-King (Psaltery), Pamela Thorby (Recorder)
Conductor:  David Skinner
Period: Medieval 
Venue:  The Wren Library, Trinity College, Cambr 
Length: 3 Minutes 21 Secs. 
2. Alma Redemptoris mater by Anonymous
Performer:  Michaël Grébil (Lute), Andrew Lawrence-King (Psaltery), Andrew Lawrence-King (Gothic Harp),
Pamela Thorby (Gemshorn), Pamela Thorby (Recorder)
Conductor:  David Skinner
Period: Medieval 
Written: 10th Century 
Venue:  The Wren Library, Trinity College, Cambr 
Length: 4 Minutes 50 Secs. 
3. Now May We Syngyn, carol (English) by Traditional
Performer:  Michaël Grébil (Lute), Andrew Lawrence-King (Gothic Harp), Andrew Lawrence-King (Psaltery),
Pamela Thorby (Gemshorn), Pamela Thorby (Recorder)
Conductor:  David Skinner
Venue:  The Wren Library, Trinity College, Cambr 
Length: 3 Minutes 59 Secs. 
4. Be Mery, Be Mery, carol (English) by Traditional
Performer:  Michaël Grébil (Lute), Andrew Lawrence-King (Psaltery), Pamela Thorby (Recorder),
Andrew Lawrence-King (Gothic Harp), Pamela Thorby (Gemshorn)
Conductor:  David Skinner
Written: 14th Century 
Venue:  The Wren Library, Trinity College, Cambr 
Length: 2 Minutes 12 Secs. 
5. Nowell Sing We, carol (English) by Traditional
Performer:  Michaël Grébil (Lute), Andrew Lawrence-King (Psaltery), Andrew Lawrence-King (Gothic Harp),
Pamela Thorby (Recorder), Pamela Thorby (Gemshorn)
Conductor:  David Skinner
Period: Renaissance 
Written: circa 1450; United Kingdom 
Venue:  The Wren Library, Trinity College, Cambr 
Length: 2 Minutes 39 Secs. 
6. Deo gracias Anglia, carol (a.k.a. "Our King Went Forth") by Anonymous
Performer:  Michaël Grébil (Lute), Andrew Lawrence-King (Gothic Harp), Pamela Thorby (Gemshorn),
Andrew Lawrence-King (Psaltery), Pamela Thorby (Recorder)
Conductor:  David Skinner
Period: Medieval 
Venue:  The Wren Library, Trinity College, Cambr 
Length: 4 Minutes 31 Secs. 
7. Nowel, Nowel!, carol (English) by Traditional
Performer:  Michaël Grébil (Lute), Andrew Lawrence-King (Gothic Harp), Andrew Lawrence-King (Psaltery),
Pamela Thorby (Recorder), Pamela Thorby (Gemshorn)
Conductor:  David Skinner
Period: Medieval 
Venue:  The Wren Library, Trinity College, Cambr 
Length: 1 Minutes 40 Secs. 
8. Lullay, Lullay, carol (English) by Traditional
Performer:  Michaël Grébil (Lute), Andrew Lawrence-King (Gothic Harp), Pamela Thorby (Recorder),
Andrew Lawrence-King (Psaltery), Pamela Thorby (Gemshorn)
Conductor:  David Skinner
Period: Renaissance 
Written: England 
Venue:  The Wren Library, Trinity College, Cambr 
Length: 6 Minutes 41 Secs. 
9. Princeps pacis by Traditional
Performer:  Andrew Lawrence-King (Psaltery), Pamela Thorby (Gemshorn), Pamela Thorby (Recorder),
Andrew Lawrence-King (Gothic Harp), Michaël Grébil (Lute)
Conductor:  David Skinner
Period: Medieval 
Venue:  The Wren Library, Trinity College, Cambr 
Length: 2 Minutes 53 Secs. 
10. Tibi laus, tibi gloria by Traditional
Performer:  Andrew Lawrence-King (Gothic Harp), Andrew Lawrence-King (Psaltery), Pamela Thorby (Gemshorn),
Michaël Grébil (Lute), Pamela Thorby (Recorder)
Conductor:  David Skinner
Venue:  The Wren Library, Trinity College, Cambr 
Length: 3 Minutes 24 Secs. 
11. Now Make We Merthe, carol (English) by Traditional
Performer:  Andrew Lawrence-King (Psaltery), Andrew Lawrence-King (Gothic Harp), Pamela Thorby (Recorder),
Pamela Thorby (Gemshorn), Michaël Grébil (Lute)
Conductor:  David Skinner
Venue:  The Wren Library, Trinity College, Cambr 
Length: 3 Minutes 25 Secs. 
12. Abide, I hope it be the best, song by Anonymous
Performer:  Michaël Grébil (Lute), Andrew Lawrence-King (Psaltery), Pamela Thorby (Gemshorn),
Pamela Thorby (Recorder), Andrew Lawrence-King (Gothic Harp)
Conductor:  David Skinner
Venue:  The Wren Library, Trinity College, Cambr 
Length: 3 Minutes 30 Secs. 
13. What Tidings Bringest Thou? by Traditional
Performer:  Pamela Thorby (Recorder), Michaël Grébil (Lute), Andrew Lawrence-King (Gothic Harp),
Pamela Thorby (Gemshorn), Andrew Lawrence-King (Psaltery)
Conductor:  David Skinner
Venue:  The Wren Library, Trinity College, Cambr 
Length: 3 Minutes 51 Secs. 
14. Eya martir Stephane, carol for 2 voices by English Polyph Anonymous
Performer:  Pamela Thorby (Gemshorn), Pamela Thorby (Recorder), Michaël Grébil (Lute),
Andrew Lawrence-King (Gothic Harp), Andrew Lawrence-King (Psaltery)
Conductor:  David Skinner
Period: Medieval 
Written: 1400-1450; England 
Venue:  The Wren Library, Trinity College, Cambr 
Length: 2 Minutes 10 Secs. 
15. Pray for Us, Thou Prince of Peace, hymn by Anonymous
Performer:  Andrew Lawrence-King (Gothic Harp), Pamela Thorby (Gemshorn), Pamela Thorby (Recorder),
Michaël Grébil (Lute), Andrew Lawrence-King (Psaltery)
Conductor:  David Skinner
Period: Renaissance 
Written: circa 1450 
Venue:  The Wren Library, Trinity College, Cambr 
Length: 3 Minutes 9 Secs. 
16. Ther Is No Rose of Swych Vertu, carol (English) by Traditional
Performer:  Michaël Grébil (Lute), Pamela Thorby (Gemshorn), Andrew Lawrence-King (Gothic Harp),
Pamela Thorby (Recorder), Andrew Lawrence-King (Psaltery)
Conductor:  David Skinner
Period: Medieval 
Venue:  The Wren Library, Trinity College, Cambr 
Length: 5 Minutes 9 Secs. 
17. Hail Marye Ful of Grace, carol (English) by Traditional
Performer:  Michaël Grébil (Lute), Andrew Lawrence-King (Gothic Harp), Andrew Lawrence-King (Psaltery),
Pamela Thorby (Gemshorn), Pamela Thorby (Recorder)
Conductor:  David Skinner
Period: Medieval 
Venue:  The Wren Library, Trinity College, Cambr 
Length: 4 Minutes 52 Secs. 
18. Nova! nova! Ave fit ex Eva by Traditional
Performer:  Pamela Thorby (Gemshorn), Pamela Thorby (Recorder), Michaël Grébil (Lute),
Andrew Lawrence-King (Gothic Harp), Andrew Lawrence-King (Psaltery)
Conductor:  David Skinner
Venue:  The Wren Library, Trinity College, Cambr 
Length: 2 Minutes 43 Secs. 

Sound Samples

Hail Mary full of grace [15th Century]
Nowel, nowel [English, 15th Century]
Alma Redemptoris Mater [15th Century]
Now May We Singen [English, 15th Century]
Be mery, be mery [English, 15th Century]
Nowell sing we [English, 15th Century]
Agincourt Carol, "Deo Gracias Anglia" [English, 15th Century]
Nowel, nowel [English, 15th Century]
Lullay, lullay [14th Century]: Lullay, lullay [English, 14th Century]
Princeps Pacis [English, 15th Century]
Nova, Nova [English, 15th Century]
Tibi laus, tibi gloria [15th Century]
Now Make We Merry, All and Some [English, 15th Century]
Abide, I Hope it Be the Best [English, 15th Century]
Qwat tydyngs bryngyst thu messager [English, 15th Century]
Eia, Martyr Stephane [English, 15th Century]
Pray for us to the Prince of Peace [English, 15th Century]
There is no rose [English, 15th Century]

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