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Kate Semmens and Steven Devine

The Songs of the Grove

The Songs of the Grove

The Songs of the Grove

William Boyce (1711 - 1779) Sylvia the Fair

Thomas Arne (1710-1778) Isabel

Thomas Arne Dione

Maurice Greene (1696-1755) Voluntary II

William Jackson (1730-1803) What shepherd or nymph of the grove

William Jackson To fairest Delia’s grassy tomb

James Hook (1746 - 1827) Voluntary No 8 in C Major

Thomas Linley (1733 - 1795) Think not my love when secret grief

Thomas Linley Alas from the day my poor heart

John Blow (1649 - 1708 Mortlack’s Ground

Stephen Storace (1762 - 1796) The curfew tolls the knell of parting day

Maurice Greene (1696 - 1755) Vivace from Sonata in B flat

Maurice Greene Orpheus with his lute

By the end of the 17th century, English song had truly found its own distinct form. The growing taste for ‘commercialised leisure’ led to the development of the Pleasure Gardens in the early 18th century. These were places where all classes of people were able to go, to stroll within beautiful avenues, to eat and enjoy music. The egalitarian attitude towards ticket prices meant that a noble man may find himself strolling beside his servant. Music involved large orchestras with guest appearances by the current favourite singers of the day. Composers and performers were stimulated by the rich environment, meeting with their peers, colleagues and rivals. The most commercially minded composers were prolific in writing songs that could be easily accessible and transferrable to the domestic environment to be sold as sheet music after performances. The songs reflect the city’s pastoral ideal of love in the countryside and this became a popular taste across music of the period. Kate and Steven perform songs which tell tales of the nymphs and shepherds of the grove, their love, lust and loss.


Gresham's School, Holt
Grove Lane, Holt, NR25 6EA, United Kingdom

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