douce memoire long Douce memoire dark Douce memoire dark

Michael East - with Fieri Consort

recording in progress!

Michael East (1580-1648)

was an English composer

and organist, working at

Ely, and later Lichfield

cathedrals. He published

seven books of his

compositions, making him

one of the most published

composers of his time, and

all of them contain music

for viols and voices. East

wrote a set of eight 5-part

fantasias for viols. They are

unusual because each has a

Latin title, beginning with Desperavi, moving through Peccavi, Penitet, Triumphavi, and ending with Amavi. It seems likely that the pieces were conceived as a set, but they are rarely performed as such This disc includes them all. East's Fourth book was published in 1618, four hundred years ago this year, and it is from here that most of our vocal items are taken. The title page reads:

 

The Fourth Set of Bookes, wherein are anthemes for versus and chorus, madrigals,

and songs of other kindes, to 4. 5. and 6. parts: apt for viols and voyces

 

Most of the verse anthems in our programme come from this book and have been chosen, like the other vocal items, to compliment the subject of the preceding fantasia.  Other pieces are from East’s 1610 collection, and we also include ‘Hence Stars', East's contribution to The Triumphs of Oriana published by Thomas Morley in 1601.

We are very excited to have commissioned a new piece by composer Jill Jarman to sum up the journey of the fantasias from Desperavi to Amavi. Four hundred years after East's own 1618 book for voices and viols, Jill is setting a verse by the poet Sir Henry Wotton, whose words East uses elsewhere in his output, nd which perfectly encapsulate the journey from Despair to Love.

 

Recording took place in August, and we are eagerly awaiting the first edits - watch this space!! You can hear a sneak preview here:

tutti with Mathew in garden crop