Recommend instrumental Renaissance music to me
February 4, 2011 10:19 AM   Subscribe

Please recommend to me more music like this track by Thomas Tallis, performed by The King's Noyse. I'm finding it a little tricky to find entire albums by this Consort or that Ensemble that are exclusively instrumental. What I'm looking for is: 1) Instrumental, without vocals; 2) 16th century-ish; 3) similar, not-too-lively tempo; 4) Available from Amazon mp3 or iTunes.

I don't have the vocabulary to explain this well, but I am averse to anything that sounds too plummily Ren-fayre.
posted by everichon to Media & Arts (6 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Link's broken.

Dowland's Lachrimæ is the obvious thing that comes to mind -- and there's a King's Noyse / Douglass version, though I'm also fond of the Hespérion XX version (performed in concert here). The uptempo galliards may come across as a bit too Ren-Fayre to you, but the slower pavans fit the bill, which may point you onwards to Purcell, especially if you're focused on the English tradition.
posted by holgate at 10:44 AM on February 4, 2011

Response by poster: Whoops-- I made the link public now, it should work.
posted by everichon at 11:00 AM on February 4, 2011

Best answer: What you want to search for is "English consort music" or "viol consort" music by English composers of the Tudor period. Byrd and Gibbons are the two most prominent composers.

Some very good bands perform this stuff: Fretwork has a box set called "English Music for Viols."
posted by MisterMo at 11:15 AM on February 4, 2011

Seconding the Fretwork recommendation. Lots of Jordi Savall / Hesperion XXI will also meet your needs, although some albums do include vocals. William Lawes: Consort Sets in Five & Six Parts is one of my favorites. Another composer to look into is Marin Marais. French viol music tends to be a bit less lugubrious than the English music of the same period.

If you want to get a bit more modern (all the way into the 1700s), there are string trio or quartet arrangements of Bach's Goldberg Variations and Art of Fugue that, at least for me, scratch much the same itch as English viol music. Fretwork also has a viol arrangement of Art of Fugue.
posted by Jasper Fnorde at 12:44 PM on February 4, 2011

Response by poster: These are great recommendations, thank you all.
posted by everichon at 1:24 PM on February 4, 2011

I know you don't want vocals, but FYI: Tallis originally wrote that tune as an anthem callled "Purge me, O Lord." It's performed here.
posted by venividivici at 7:11 PM on February 4, 2011

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