What Then Is Love? / Cohen, Boston Camerata

Release Date: 11/6/2008
Label: Erato
Catalog Number: ERA23417
Conductor: Joel Cohen
Orchestra/Ensemble: Boston Camerata
Number of Discs: 1

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Notes and Editorial Reviews
The melodic gift shared by all these composers renders these songs irresistible in such sympathetic hands as those of Cohen and his accomplished singers and players.

The repertoire of Elizabethan lute songs and ayres has hardly been neglected on disc, yet so richly diverse is it that imaginative new recordings are always welcome. And imaginative is certainly a word that can be applied to Boston Camerata's new Erato disc, which 1 have no hesitation in nominating one of the most delightful surveys of its kind it has been my pleasure to hear.

Using five singers and concentrating mainly on the lighter side, Cohen has assembled a well-planned program divided into subheadings—"Sing a song of Joy," "What then is love," and so on. Each section is complemented by appropriate instrumental pieces for a mixed consort of flutes, viols, and lutes. Mostly these are the kinds of songs that appeared in plays and masques, a deceptively simple genre. Cohen puts it succinctly in his introductory note: "These miniature works preferred simplicity over complexity, economy of form and gesture rather than florid expansion, and lightness of touch rather than metaphysical solemnity." The danger in performance is the temptation to overburden the direct, melodic appeal of these songs with an artifice that is out of place, rendering them merely coy. Although Cohen's singers employ period pronunciation and project the songs with real character and sometimes humor, there is never any hint of such coyness creeping in here.

Many of these songs are better known as solos, but in a number of instances they are given to an ensemble of singers discreetly accompanied by the consort, a perfectly legitimate practice that composers often allowed for in their publications, providing alternative polyphonic parts for voices or instruments. Certainly, I for one have no quarrel with anything done here, and in many instances find the results enchanting. Francis Pilkington's lovely Rest, sweet nimphes, for example, is exquisitely sung by tenor William Hite, with the refrain taken up by the ensemble of singers to ravishing effect. That song is, of course, frequently programmed in selections of this kind, as are a number of the others included. But Cohen has also introduced one or two lesser-known gems, among which I sigh, as sure to wear the fruit (Pilkington), done as a four-part song, and Robert Jones's enchanting Sweet Philomel, delightfully sung by the two sopranos Noel Bisson and Anne Azema, particularly stand out. There are those who adopt a superior attitude about these direct, unpretentious songs. That's their loss, for the melodic gift shared by all these composers renders these songs irresistible in such sympathetic hands as those of Cohen and his accomplished singers and players.

-- Brian Robins, FANFARE [1999]
Works on This Recording
1. Sweet Philomel by Robert Jones
Performer: Olav Chris Henriksen (Guitar), Card Lewis (Treble Vla da gamba), Olav Chris Henriksen (Lute), Card Lewis (Bass Viola da gamba), Lynn Tetenbaum (Tenor Viola da gamba), Anne Azéma (Soprano), Robert Mealy (Violin), Emily Walhout (Bass Viola da gamba), Joel Cohen (Lute), Joel Cohen (Cittern), Joel Frederiksen (Lute), Noël Bisson (Soprano), Jesse Lepkoff (Recorder), Jesse Lepkoff (Flute)
Conductor: Joel Cohen
Orchestra/Ensemble: Boston Camerata
Period: Renaissance
2. Rest, sweet nymphs by Francis Pilkington
Performer: Lynn Tetenbaum (Tenor Viola da gamba), Olav Chris Henriksen (Guitar), Card Lewis (Treble Vla da gamba), Olav Chris Henriksen (Lute), Card Lewis (Bass Viola da gamba), William Hite (Tenor), Robert Mealy (Violin), Emily Walhout (Bass Viola da gamba), Joel Cohen (Lute), Joel Frederiksen (Lute), Joel Cohen (Cittern), Jesse Lepkoff (Recorder), Jesse Lepkoff (Flute)
Conductor: Joel Cohen
Orchestra/Ensemble: Boston Camerata
Period: Renaissance
Written: by 1605 ; England
3. Sing a song of joy by Thomas Campion
Performer: Card Lewis (Treble Vla da gamba), Olav Chris Henriksen (Guitar), Card Lewis (Bass Viola da gamba), Olav Chris Henriksen (Lute), Lynn Tetenbaum (Tenor Viola da gamba), Noël Bisson (Soprano), Anne Azéma (Soprano), William Hite (Tenor), Joel Frederiksen (Bass), Robert Mealy (Violin), Emily Walhout (Bass Viola da gamba), Jesse Lepkoff (Flute), Jesse Lepkoff (Recorder), Joel Frederiksen (Lute), Joel Cohen (Lute), Joel Cohen (Cittern), Karen Clark (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor: Joel Cohen
Orchestra/Ensemble: Boston Camerata
Period: Renaissance
Written: by 1613 ; England
4. Eliza is the fairest queen by Edward Johnson
Performer: Card Lewis (Bass Viola da gamba), Olav Chris Henriksen (Lute), Card Lewis (Treble Vla da gamba), Lynn Tetenbaum (Tenor Viola da gamba), Noël Bisson (Soprano), Anne Azéma (Soprano), Emily Walhout (Bass Viola da gamba), Joel Frederiksen (Lute), Joel Cohen (Lute), Joel Cohen (Cittern), Jesse Lepkoff (Flute), Jesse Lepkoff (Recorder), Karen Clark (Mezzo Soprano), Robert Mealy (Violin), Olav Chris Henriksen (Guitar)
Conductor: Joel Cohen
Orchestra/Ensemble: Boston Camerata
Period: Renaissance
Written: 1591 ; England
5. Almain "The Honiesuckle" by Anthony Holborne
Performer: Lynn Tetenbaum (Tenor Viola da gamba), Robert Mealy (Violin), Card Lewis (Bass Viola da gamba), Olav Chris Henriksen (Lute), Emily Walhout (Bass Viola da gamba), Joel Cohen (Lute), Joel Cohen (Cittern), Joel Frederiksen (Lute), Jesse Lepkoff (Recorder), Jesse Lepkoff (Flute), Card Lewis (Treble Vla da gamba), Olav Chris Henriksen (Guitar)
Conductor: Joel Cohen
Orchestra/Ensemble: Boston Camerata
Period: Renaissance
Written: 16th Century ; England
6. Musicke of Sundrie Kindes, Part I: What then is love, sings Coridon by Thomas Ford
Performer: Card Lewis (Bass Viola da gamba), Lynn Tetenbaum (Tenor Viola da gamba), Anne Azéma (Soprano), Emily Walhout (Bass Viola da gamba), Olav Chris Henriksen (Lute), Joel Cohen (Lute), Joel Cohen (Cittern), Joel Frederiksen (Lute), Jesse Lepkoff (Recorder), Jesse Lepkoff (Flute), Robert Mealy (Violin), Card Lewis (Treble Vla da gamba), Olav Chris Henriksen (Guitar)
Conductor: Joel Cohen
Orchestra/Ensemble: Boston Camerata
Written: pub 1607 ;
7. What then is love but mourning? by Philip Rosseter
Performer: Olav Chris Henriksen (Lute), Karen Clark (Mezzo Soprano), Joel Frederiksen (Lute), Joel Cohen (Lute)
Conductor: Joel Cohen
Orchestra/Ensemble: Boston Camerata
Period: Renaissance
8. What thing is love? by John Danyel
Performer: Card Lewis (Bass Viola da gamba), Olav Chris Henriksen (Lute), Anne Azéma (Soprano), William Hite (Tenor), Joel Frederiksen (Bass), Emily Walhout (Bass Viola da gamba), Karen Clark (Mezzo Soprano), Joel Frederiksen (Lute), Joel Cohen (Lute)
Conductor: Joel Cohen
Orchestra/Ensemble: Boston Camerata
Period: Renaissance
9. A Pilgrimes Solace: no 5, Shall I strive with wordes to move by John Dowland
Performer: Lynn Tetenbaum (Tenor Viola da gamba), Olav Chris Henriksen (Guitar), Card Lewis (Treble Vla da gamba), Card Lewis (Bass Viola da gamba), Olav Chris Henriksen (Lute), Robert Mealy (Violin), Emily Walhout (Bass Viola da gamba), Joel Frederiksen (Lute), Joel Cohen (Cittern), Joel Cohen (Lute), Jesse Lepkoff (Recorder), Jesse Lepkoff (Flute)
Conductor: Joel Cohen
Orchestra/Ensemble: Boston Camerata
Period: Renaissance
Written: 1612 ; England
10. I sigh, as sure to wear the fruit by Francis Pilkington
Performer: Anne Azéma (Soprano), William Hite (Tenor), Joel Frederiksen (Bass), Karen Clark (Mezzo Soprano), Joel Frederiksen (Lute)
Conductor: Joel Cohen
Orchestra/Ensemble: Boston Camerata
Period: Renaissance
11. Sorrow, come by John Dowland
Performer: Lynn Tetenbaum (Tenor Viola da gamba), Card Lewis (Treble Vla da gamba), Card Lewis (Bass Viola da gamba), Robert Mealy (Violin), Emily Walhout (Bass Viola da gamba), Karen Clark (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor: Joel Cohen
Orchestra/Ensemble: Boston Camerata
Period: Renaissance
12. Galliard "Heigh ho Holiday" by Anthony Holborne
Performer: Lynn Tetenbaum (Tenor Viola da gamba), Robert Mealy (Violin), Olav Chris Henriksen (Lute), Card Lewis (Bass Viola da gamba), Emily Walhout (Bass Viola da gamba), Joel Frederiksen (Lute), Joel Cohen (Lute), Joel Cohen (Cittern), Jesse Lepkoff (Recorder), Jesse Lepkoff (Flute), Card Lewis (Treble Vla da gamba), Olav Chris Henriksen (Guitar)
Conductor: Joel Cohen
Orchestra/Ensemble: Boston Camerata
Period: Renaissance
Written: by 1599 ; England
13. Second Booke of Songes or Ayres: no 19, Shall I sue, shall I seeke for grace? by John Dowland
Performer: Lynn Tetenbaum (Tenor Viola da gamba), Card Lewis (Bass Viola da gamba), Olav Chris Henriksen (Lute), Joel Frederiksen (Lute), Joel Cohen (Lute), Joel Cohen (Cittern), Emily Walhout (Bass Viola da gamba), Jesse Lepkoff (Recorder), Jesse Lepkoff (Flute), Robert Mealy (Violin), William Hite (Tenor), Card Lewis (Treble Vla da gamba), Olav Chris Henriksen (Guitar)
Conductor: Joel Cohen
Orchestra/Ensemble: Boston Camerata
Period: Renaissance
Written: 1600 ; England
14. Third Booke of Ayres: Breake now my heart and dye by Thomas Campion
Conductor: Joel Cohen
Orchestra/Ensemble: Boston Camerata
Period: Renaissance
Written: pub 1617 ; England
15. Wooe her, and win her, he that can by Thomas Campion
Performer: Lynn Tetenbaum (Tenor Viola da gamba), Anne Azéma (Soprano), Olav Chris Henriksen (Lute), Card Lewis (Bass Viola da gamba), Joel Frederiksen (Lute), Joel Cohen (Lute), Joel Cohen (Cittern), Emily Walhout (Bass Viola da gamba), Jesse Lepkoff (Recorder), Robert Mealy (Violin), Jesse Lepkoff (Flute), Card Lewis (Treble Vla da gamba), Olav Chris Henriksen (Guitar)
Conductor: Joel Cohen
Orchestra/Ensemble: Boston Camerata
Period: Renaissance
Written: by 1614 ; England
16. Second Booke of Ayres, 'Light Conceits of Lovers': The peacefull westerne winde by Thomas Campion
Performer: Card Lewis (Treble Vla da gamba), Olav Chris Henriksen (Guitar), Card Lewis (Bass Viola da gamba), Olav Chris Henriksen (Lute), Lynn Tetenbaum (Tenor Viola da gamba), Robert Mealy (Violin), Emily Walhout (Bass Viola da gamba), Joel Frederiksen (Lute), Joel Cohen (Lute), Joel Cohen (Cittern), Karen Clark (Mezzo Soprano), Jesse Lepkoff (Recorder), Jesse Lepkoff (Flute)
Conductor: Joel Cohen
Orchestra/Ensemble: Boston Camerata
Written: pub 1613 ;
17. (21) Ayres: I care not for these ladies by Thomas Campion
Performer: Lynn Tetenbaum (Tenor Viola da gamba), Robert Mealy (Violin), Olav Chris Henriksen (Lute), Card Lewis (Bass Viola da gamba), Emily Walhout (Bass Viola da gamba), Jesse Lepkoff (Recorder), Jesse Lepkoff (Flute), Joel Cohen (Cittern), Joel Cohen (Lute), Joel Frederiksen (Lute), Olav Chris Henriksen (Guitar), Card Lewis (Treble Vla da gamba)
Conductor: Joel Cohen
Orchestra/Ensemble: Boston Camerata
Written: pub 1601 ;
18. A pretty duck there was by John Bartlett
Performer: Lynn Tetenbaum (Tenor Viola da gamba), Card Lewis (Bass Viola da gamba), Olav Chris Henriksen (Lute), Joel Cohen (Lute), Joel Cohen (Cittern), Joel Frederiksen (Lute), Emily Walhout (Bass Viola da gamba), Robert Mealy (Violin), Joel Frederiksen (Bass), William Hite (Tenor), Jesse Lepkoff (Flute), Jesse Lepkoff (Recorder), Card Lewis (Treble Vla da gamba), Olav Chris Henriksen (Guitar)
Conductor: Joel Cohen
Orchestra/Ensemble: Boston Camerata
Period: Renaissance
19. The Witty Wanton by Robert [baroque] Johnson
Performer: Robert Mealy (Violin), Lynn Tetenbaum (Tenor Viola da gamba), Joel Cohen (Lute), Joel Cohen (Cittern), Joel Frederiksen (Lute), Olav Chris Henriksen (Lute), Card Lewis (Bass Viola da gamba), Emily Walhout (Bass Viola da gamba), Jesse Lepkoff (Recorder), Jesse Lepkoff (Flute), Olav Chris Henriksen (Guitar), Card Lewis (Treble Vla da gamba)
Conductor: Joel Cohen
Orchestra/Ensemble: Boston Camerata
Period: Baroque
Written: 17th Century ; England
20. Faine would I wed a faire yong man, that day and night could please mee by Thomas Campion
Performer: Lynn Tetenbaum (Tenor Viola da gamba), Olav Chris Henriksen (Lute), Card Lewis (Bass Viola da gamba), Joel Frederiksen (Lute), Joel Cohen (Lute), Joel Cohen (Cittern), Emily Walhout (Bass Viola da gamba), Noël Bisson (Soprano), Robert Mealy (Violin), Jesse Lepkoff (Recorder), Jesse Lepkoff (Flute), Card Lewis (Treble Vla da gamba), Olav Chris Henriksen (Guitar)
Conductor: Joel Cohen
Orchestra/Ensemble: Boston Camerata
Period: Renaissance
Written: by 1617 ; England
21. The First Set, beeing Songs of Divers Ayres and Natures: Mother, I will have a husband by Thomas Vautor
Performer: Lynn Tetenbaum (Tenor Viola da gamba), Anne Azéma (Soprano), Card Lewis (Bass Viola da gamba), Olav Chris Henriksen (Lute), Karen Clark (Mezzo Soprano), Emily Walhout (Bass Viola da gamba), Joel Frederiksen (Lute), Joel Cohen (Lute), Joel Cohen (Cittern), Noël Bisson (Soprano), Jesse Lepkoff (Flute), Jesse Lepkoff (Recorder), Robert Mealy (Violin), Card Lewis (Treble Vla da gamba), Olav Chris Henriksen (Guitar)
Conductor: Joel Cohen
Orchestra/Ensemble: Boston Camerata
Period: Renaissance
Written: by 1620 ; England
22. Now hath Flora rob'd her bowers by Thomas Campion
Performer: Anne Azéma (Soprano), Olav Chris Henriksen (Lute), Card Lewis (Bass Viola da gamba), Joel Frederiksen (Lute), Joel Cohen (Lute), Emily Walhout (Bass Viola da gamba), Karen Clark (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor: Joel Cohen
Orchestra/Ensemble: Boston Camerata
Period: Renaissance
Written: by 1607 ; England
23. A Wedding Maske: Move now with measured sound by Thomas Campion
Performer: Lynn Tetenbaum (Tenor Viola da gamba), Card Lewis (Treble Vla da gamba), Olav Chris Henriksen (Guitar), Olav Chris Henriksen (Lute), Card Lewis (Bass Viola da gamba), Robert Mealy (Violin), Emily Walhout (Bass Viola da gamba), Joel Frederiksen (Lute), Joel Cohen (Lute), Joel Cohen (Cittern), Jesse Lepkoff (Recorder), Jesse Lepkoff (Flute)
Conductor: Joel Cohen
Orchestra/Ensemble: Boston Camerata
Period: Renaissance
Written: 1607 ; England
24. Sing wee and chaunt it by Thomas Morley
Performer: Lynn Tetenbaum (Tenor Viola da gamba), Olav Chris Henriksen (Guitar), Card Lewis (Treble Vla da gamba), Anne Azéma (Soprano), Noël Bisson (Soprano), William Hite (Tenor), Robert Mealy (Violin), Joel Frederiksen (Bass), Olav Chris Henriksen (Lute), Card Lewis (Bass Viola da gamba), Emily Walhout (Bass Viola da gamba), Karen Clark (Mezzo Soprano), Joel Cohen (Cittern), Joel Cohen (Lute), Joel Frederiksen (Lute), Jesse Lepkoff (Recorder), Jesse Lepkoff (Flute)
Conductor: Joel Cohen
Orchestra/Ensemble: Boston Camerata
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