The great challenge lies in interpreting the extant manuscripts and creating the unwritten parts. In the 17th century it was also quite common to construct a work “from the bottom to the top,” starting with a simple bass line that repeats many times as the top melody lines are improvised with many variations on a theme. Long notes were divided into shorter and shorter notes, with ever more complex variations. This style of writing was called “Divisions”, as the notes were “divided” on top of the “ground” (the bass line). This is the basis for our program – divisions of time: time in the sense of musical time, but also time in the sense of the four seasons, Nature´s way of dividing the year. Melodies evolve, one flowing to the next.
Spring is introduced with the sweet call of the nightingale as written by John Playford, and love is awakened with “John Come Kiss Me Now” along with delightful court songs by Nicolas Lanier and William Lawes. Summer´s passionate “Sweeter than Roses” and playful “All in a Garden Green” balance bright dances such as “The Glory of the Sun” and “Stanes Morris” chosen for their liveliness and energy.
Nina Åkerblom Nielsen
Fall leads to frolicking as Purcell´s “Autumn” and a complementary little “Aria” by Matteis describe the annual harvest. One can almost hear the windy gusts in our interpretation of Byrd´s “The Woods so Wild.” Soon, winter´s cold draw us back inside again with a solemn old Christian tune “Remember O Thou Man.” And the circle is drawn to a close as we recall the year´s work, and praise the eternity of music with music with Purcell´s profound “Here the Deities Approve.” This is a program meant for any time of the year, as we remember how we all live together in our “Garden Green.”