The early years of Henry VIII’s reign were a time of ostentatious pageantry, ceremonial and courtly entertainments of all kinds. Royal entries, tournaments, funerals, executions, banquets, coronations, christenings were all ceremonial occasions in which music had a function. Very little actual ceremonial music has survived; most of it was probably never written down. But many songs and dances do survive from the lavish court entertainments, masques, ‘Mayings’ and so forth, which distinguished the young King’s court and diminished his privy purse. Part of an ongoing mini-series on Eloquence, ‘The Tudors’ presents a series of recordings of the music of this dynasty.
“There is plenty to delight the ear on this record […] The songs … are very good music indeed, and anyone who has not yet come across Pastime with good company, or I am a jolly foster should make their acquaintance forthwith, for their tunes are full of vigour.” Gramophone