Division-Musick Division-Musick

“Division-Musick” is a term used by Christopher Simpson during the 17th century to describe a typically English improvisatory style of diminution. Musicians generally used short bass melodies called grounds as the basis for intricate and virtuoso diminutions, beginning with simple and slow melodies over a bass melody, and ending with very fast and virtuosic diminutions after a varying number of repetitions of the melody. Both singers and instrumentalists practiced this art of diminution, but the preferred instrument for divisions was the so-called “division viol”. This CD aims to give some audible insight into English virtuosity in the Baroque era.

Musicke & Mirth   Based on the title of a Tobias Hume work, MUSICKE & MIRTH was founded in 1997 by Jane Achtman and Irene Klein in Basel. The aim was to explore the unique and entertaining music for two viols. Further musicians are added to the core group of two players when the repertoire requires it. They perform on period instruments (or their copies) and from original scores, paying great attention to historical performance practice. The combination of authenticity and virtuosity paired with a unique performing flair has made the ensemble successful both in concert halls and at competitions. Musicke & Mirth won third prize in the American Dorian / EMA Recording Competition in 1997, second prize in the Premio Bonporti in Rovereto (Italy) in 1998, and second prize at the Van Wassenaer Competion in The Hague (The Netherlands) in 2000. Since its formation the ensemble has developed various programs in different combinations, travelling throughout Europe. In 2005 it played at the Festival Concentus Moraviae in the Czech Republic and in 2007 was invited to perform for German radio WDR3. The ensemble often participates as a duo in larger productions, such as a staged version by Herbert Wernicke of Bach's Actus Tragicus with the conductor Michael Hofstetter, which was performed in Basel in 2000/01 and in Stuttgart from 2006 to 2008. In 2006, Musicke & Mirth accompanied the Collegium Vocale Gent for a European tour of Dietrich Buxtehude's Membra Jesu Nostri. The ensemble now presents its fourth CD.

Irene Klein and Jane Achtman, viola da gamba & lyra viol
Amandine Beyer, violin
Johannes Strobl, virginal & organ

John Jenkins (1592-1678) 1. Ecco Coranto
Lyra Consort in D major 2. Aire Pasionetta
  3. Almaine  
  4. Coranto
  5. Saraband  
  6. Saraband  
William Lawes (1602-1645) 7. Pavan
Suite for two Division Viols and Organ in G minor 8. Aire  
  9. Aire  
Christopher Simpson (c. 1605-1669) 10. Division for Two Viols No. 7 in G major
Thomas Baltzar (c. 1631-1663) 11. Prelude
?Solomon Eccles (1649-1710) 12. A Division on a Ground by Mr. John Eckles
Christopher Simpson 13. Division for Two Viols No. 1 in C major  
John Jenkins 14. Aire
Lyra Consort in D minor 15. Almaine  
  16. Coranto  
  17. Coranto  
Christopher Simpson 18. Division for Two Viols No. 5 in F major
John Banister (c. 1624-1679) 19. A Division on a Ground by Mr. Banister
John Jenkins 20. Almaine
Lyra Consort in D minor 21. Coranto  
  22. Saraband  
  23. The Pleasing Slumber