Available to buy as CD or MP3 download from GingerDog Records here
1 Batter My Heart
2 I Shall Be Made Thy Musique
3 Throw Away Thy Wrath
4 Stronger Far Than Death
5 Why Aske You
6 Love Bade Me Welcome
7 A Deep, But Dazzling Darkness
8 A Grateful Heart
9 Burne Off My Rusts
10 The Call
11 King of Comforts
12 All Done
13 Wilt Thou Forgive
All original music by Garth Hewitt and copyright © 1992
Producer: Tom Blades
Engineer: Michael Moor
Recorded at the Audio Workshop, Shepherds Bush, in Holy Week 1992
Musicians: Penelope Cave: virginals, harpsichord, portative organ, recorders, backing vocals, tambourine
Garth Hewitt: vocals, guitar
William Hunt: viola da gamba
Tom Blades: guitar and tambourine
Original cassette sleeve notes:
This project is the result of a long held desire to put the poems of John Donne and various other metaphysical poets to music. In the end there were so many to choose from that I whittled it down to John Donne, George Herbert and Henry Vaughan. I started on this project some years back with one of John Donne’s poems, Wilt Thou Forgive and George Herbert’s Love Bade Me Welcome. Having met up with Penelope Cave, I decided the time was right to try and bring this whole project to fruition.
The metaphysical poets are in one sense strangely contemporary. Their poetry is very passionate and full-blooded. And just as they wrote in deeply devotional terms about their love, so they wrote in the imagery of love about their devotions. John Donne’s Batter My Heart is particularly breathtaking. The depth of their spirituality and devotion is something I find constantly challenging and I hope that this recording will open people up to look again – or for the first time – at their poetry.
My thanks to Penelope for arranging each composition, and although I did not attempt to be authentic in one sense, nevertheless the instrumentation and style of the accompaniments obviously reflect the period and Penelope’s arrangements bring something special to each poem.
Thanks also to David Wavre of Eagle for his support in making this happen; to Tom Blades for keeping a watchful eye on us all and adding to the general “joie de vivre”; to Michael Moor for engineering and to Bil Hunt for playing viola de gamba.
In most cases I have used the poems as written – and if I have changed the shape at all, I have never used any words that are not there in the original poem. However in some cases I have repeated lines or words – either to create a chorus or a second musical section. We have also included two anonymous pieces of that period Why Aske You from Will Forster’s Virginal Book completed by 1625 and the aptly titled All Done from Anne Cromwell’s Virginal Book of 1638