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ENGLISH SONG: Wert thou more fairer then thou art
MUSIC: John Wilson (1595-1674)
By the time of Henry the VIII the English were recognized throughout Europe as a musical nation. Erasmus writes � they excel the whole world in the beauty of their women, their knowledge of music and the excellence of their table.� The folk music of England evolved over the centuries to produce a quintessentially English quality that bore no resemblance to the folk music of any other land. The use of poetry was a powerful influence on the character of the English song and composers continually strove to fit the music closely to the poetry to add pathos to the words. In Henry Lawes collection of �Ayres and Dialogues� there are many fine examples of the marriage of sound to sense and Lawes desired to �set words with just note and accent.�
Reviews of English Song: Wilson, J. - 'Wert thou more fairer than thou art,' - arr. for Tenor & String Quartet by Gerald Manning
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