Editions consulted (1) William Lawes, Consort Sets in Five and Six Parts, ed. David Pinto, London: Faber, 1979. (2) Forthcoming edition of Lawes, For the Violls a4 by Mark Davenport (with thanks to the editor for making this available to us) Warning. Exposure to the consort music of William Lawes (1602-1645) is known to cause an addiction that can be difficult to cure. The symptoms? (1) An obsessive desire to play or hear Lawes at odd times of day; (2) a compulsive humming of snatches from the Fantazys and Aires; (3) unexplained melancholia connected to certain harmonic twists. At least this has been my experience with Lawes, though it wasnt always the case. When first playing Lawes, I found his music inscrutable, bizarre, and anarchic. Jamming one summer afternoon in 1975 with some eminent Lawesians who had assembled in Cambridge, I was counting like mad so as not to get lost in Lawes 6-part Setts and scarcely noticed Francis Baines repeated requests between pieces to borrow my rosin. I obliged but, ignorant of English circumlocution, failed to appreciate the meaning of his gesture. After an hour or so of an obscure game of pass the rosin, the young woman on my right was kind enough to whisper: Francis thinks youre playing too loud.Download booklet
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