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Joel Frederiksen, Artistic Director
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Thomas Campion: Author of Poetry and Song

This program presents all 21 of Thomas Campion’s songs from „A Booke of Ayres“ published in London, 1601. Renowned equally as a poet and composer, Campion expresses well his thoughts on the nature of his „Ayres“ in the preface to this, his first published book:

What epigrams are in Poetrie, the same are Ayres in musicke, then in their chiefe perfection when they are short and well seasoned.

The songs are given by Campion in two parts: The lute part printed with the melody and the bass part printed mostly above the lute version. We present the songs as solos or duets to the accompaniment of two lutes and viola da gamba. The poems are sometimes full of humour (I care not for these ladies or It fell on a summer’s day) and at other times deeply touching (Tho’ you are young). Particularly interesting rhythmically is the song „Come let us sound with melody“ in Saphicke verse. Campion explains:

The Lyrick Poets among the Greekes, and the Latines were first inventers of Ayres, tying themselves strictly to the number, and value of their sillable, of which sort you shall find here onely one song in Saphicke verse, the rest are after the fascion of the time, eare-pleasing rimes without Arte. The subject of them is for the most part amorous, and why not amorous songs, as well as amorous attires? Or why not new Ayres, as well as new fascions?

The program is presented with a narration which includes excerpts from Campion’s preface to „A Booke of Ayres“ and translations (as necessary) of selected songs.


Joel Frederiksen -- Bass, lute and musical direction
Axel Wolf -- Lute
Timothy Leigh Evans -- Tenor
Domen Marincic -- Viola da Gamba
Christian Schneller – Recitation