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Martin Peerson (c1572–1651)
Mottects or Grave Chamber Musique (1630)
I Fagiolini • Fretwork
James Johnstone organ
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Following on from Fretwork’s acclaimed release on Regent of Sublime Discources (REGCD341), which featured the complete instrumental music of John Milton and Martin Peerson,

I Fagiolini and Fretwork come together with organist James Johnstone for the première recording of Peerson’s A Treatie of Humane Love.

Newly edited by Richard Rastall, this collection of song settings of poetry by Sir Fulke Greville, focusses predominantly on the subject of love, making it an ideal counterpoint to St Valentine’s Day.

Martin Peerson (c1572–1651) has been known since the mid-20th century as an engaging and very performable composer with a highly individual voice; but in his own time he was much respected and published, perhaps the most able of those composers who were not in royal service.

This release is a major contribution to the discography of 17th century English music in incomparable performances from some of the world’s finest artists in the field.

Track List

Love, the delight
Beautie her cover is
Time faine would stay
More than most faire
Thou window of the skie
You little starres
And thou, O Love
O Love, thou mortall speare
If I by nature
Cupid, my prettie boy
Love is the peace
Selfe pitties teares
Was ever man so matcht with boy?
O false and treacherous probabilitie
Man, dreame no more
The flood that did/When thou hast swept
Who trusts for trust
Who thinks that sorrows felt
Man, dreame no more
Farewell, sweet boye
Under a throne
Where shall a sorrow
Dead, noble Brooke
Where shall a sorrow (a6)
Dead, noble Brooke (a6) 3:22

Total Playing time: 72:53

Production credits

Recorded on 21–24 February 2016 at The National Centre for Early Music, York.

Recording producer and engineer Adrian Hunter

Sample audio extracts


‘…a deliciously serious foray into the soundscape of early Stuart intellectual and musical society…. the music stands alone and this a standout performance…. Fretwork’s musical mastery and I Fagiolini’s trademark incandescent sound are perfectly married in this repertoire. Directors Richard Boothby and Robert Hollingworth find an organic momentum which carries the music from profundity to gentle humour, spotlighting varied textures and accents within these often-characterful vignettes…’ BBC Music Magazine April 2017

‘The collective consort is deftly balanced and instantly responsive to every nuance in Peerson’s emotive word-setting, and descriptive characteristics in the music are further emphasised by the singers’ use of historical English pronunciation.’ Gramophone March 2017

‘A Treatie of Humane Love (Regent REGCD 497), featuring the curious and unique anthology Mottects or Grave Chamber Musique by Martin Peerson (1630), surprises, intrigues and captivates… persuasively presented by I Fagiolini and Fretwork, past masters at this kind of thing, with exquisitely detailed word-painting, authentic pronunciation, characterful delivery,and phrasing of the greatest delicacy-what a find!’ Choir & Organ July/August 2017

‘Peerson’s music is quite exquisite, and I Fagiolini and Fretwork do it justice on this fine recording. I was particularly impressed by the way that the singers restrained their use of vibrato, making the interplay of contrapuntal lines so much easier to grasp.’ Andrew Benson-Wilson, Early Music Reviews

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