King Henry VIII -- Two Compositions for Recorders 1540





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Uploaded on Apr 30, 2009

Two compositions for recorders by Henry VIII, King of England 1509-1547-- 'If Love Now Reynyd [Reigned]' and an untitled work-- played by the Krainis Recorder Consort on a Kapp long-playing disc, KCL9049, issued in 1960.
As far as his association with music is concerned, Henry the Eighth is probably best known these days for graciously lending his name to a song celebrating serial marriage, made a hit by Herman's Hermits. But, because 2009 marks the 500th Anniversary of Henry's accession to the throne, it seems appropriate to consider a more direct contribution.
In the album liner notes, Bernard Krainis, recorder soloist of the New York Pro Musica, which he co-founded, and director of the Consort performing here, says--
"It is perhaps paradoxical that two such lovely works should come from the pen of a monarch whom history depicts as bloodthirsty, callous and self-indulgent. Henry, however, was a typical Renaissance Humanist, whose wide ranging interests included a passionate devotion to music. At his death, he owned 76 recorders-- just a small part of his princely collection of all the important instruments of his day."
The source for this music is a manuscript at the British Museum. The portrait of Henry, in 1540, is by Hans Holbein the Younger.

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