Thank you to composer and music producer Roberto Lorenzo for writing this guest article for us to celebrate the release of his new album, “Music for Elizabeth I – Court music from her reign”, which came out on 21st November 2020.
Over to Roberto…
While creating the album “Music for Anne Boleyn”, I was amazed to learn that all kinds of people – be they cellists, taxi drivers or booksellers – considered Anne’s daughter, Elizabeth I, their favorite historical figure. Being fascinated with Elizabeth myself, I gladly delved further into the sounds of the 16th century to give listeners a taste of this illustrious queen’s musical world.
Elizabeth was particularly fond of music throughout her life. As her teacher Roger Asham pointed out in 1550: “She is as much delighted with music as she is skillful in the art.” As queen, she even used her muscial skills to flaunt her royal glory. As wrestling matches, horse tournaments and jousts were traditionally considered the realm of men, Elizabeth chose typically ‘female’ pursuits to demonstrate her superiority and vigour: until deep into her old-age, she was well known for entertaining her noble guests, minions and courtiers by playing the virginal and lute, as well as singing and dancing.
The elaborate music of her courtly entertainments was widely praised. A watchful recognizer of talents, Elizabeth supported and promoted over seventy musicians during her reign. Names like Thomas Tallis, John Johnson, Christopher Tye and William Byrd would go on to become some of the most influential composers of the 16th century.
“Music for Elizabeth I” is a compilation of 26 musical treasures that this queen would have heard during the course of her reign. Besides popular dances and motets from her lifetime, it includes love songs and hymns that were especially written in honour of this last Tudor monarch.
The album is available as download and stream everywhere.
If you’re interested in finding out more about Roberto’s previous album, “Music for Anne Boleyn”, you can click here for more details.