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Shadows, not substantial things

Shadows, not substantial things: Music in the works of James Shirley (1596-1666)

This CD features the music from the plays, poems and entertainments of the 17th Century dramatist James Shirley and showcases the music performed in indoor Jacobean and Caroline theatres in the era following Shakespeare with a varied repertoire of vocal and instrumental music, including tavern drinking catches, pastoral songs and dialogues & music from the masques.

Very little of the music on this CD has been recorded previously.

The music for this CD was researched by Dr. Andrew Ashbee and this CD is linked to the UK AHRC funded 10 volume edition of "The Complete Works of James Shirley"

Production of this CD is supported by the Arts Council of England


Music from the plays and poems

  • 1. Edward Coleman: The glories of our birth and state
  • 2. (a) John Hilton: Turn Amarillis to thy swain
  •     (b) Thomas Brewer: Turn Amarillis to thy swain
  • 3. Guitar arrangements of three symphonies from the
          Triumph of Peace
  • 4. William Lawes: Come my Daphne, come away
  • 5. Ballad: with a fading
  • 6. (a) Henry Lawes: Would you know what’s soft?
  •     (b) Robert Johnson: Have you seen but a white lily grow?
  •     (c) Anon: Would you know what’s soft?
  • 7. Lyra viol arrangements of masque music:
          Symphony IV; Apes Dance
  • 8. William Lawes: What should my mistress do with hair?
  • 9. John Hilton: There was an invisible fox


  • 10 Antimasque music
  •     a. Davis Mell: Moresca
  •     b. Davis Mell: Courante
  • 11. William Lawes: Song I Hence, hence, ye profane
  • 12. William Lawes: Song II Wherefore do my sisters stay?
  • 13. William Lawes: Song III Think not I could absent
          myself this night
  • 14. Simon Ives: Symphony to Song IV
  • 15. Simon Ives: Symphony: to Song V
  • 16. Simon Ives: Symphony to Song VI
  • 17. William Lawes: Song VII Why do you dwell so long
          in clouds?
  • 18. William Lawes: Song VIIII n Envy of the night
  • 19. William Lawes: Symphony and conclusion of Song IX

Music from the plays and poems

  • 20. William Lawes: Come let us cast the dice
  • 21. William Lawes: Good morrow unto her
  • 22. William Lawes: Hark, hark how in ev’ry grove
  • 23. Ballad: Turn again Whittington
  • 24. William Lawes: I would the god of love would die
  • 25. Anon: Pigges of Rumsey
  • 26. William Lawes: Cease warring thoughts
          (from THE TRIUMPH OF BEAUTY)
  • 27. William Lawes: O think not Phoebe
  • 28. Anon: Cupid calls
  • 29. Ballad: When cannons are roaring


  • 30. Anon: Apes Dance
  • 31. Christopher Gibbons: Open blest Elizium grove


  • Passamezzo

  • Emily Atkinson – soprano
  • Alison Kinder – bass viol, recorder
  • Tamsin Lewis – Director, renaissance violin, alto, drum
  • Keith McGowan – flute, recorders, curtal, bagpipes, Jew’s harp, harp
  • Richard Mackenzie – lute, theorbo, guitar, bass
  • Peter Willcock – bass, recorder
  • David de Winter – tenor
  • Richard de Winter – tenor, drum


Shadows, not substantial things
Price: from £12.50

Track extracts

Extracts available on Soundcloud:

7. Lyra viol arrangements: Apes Dance

6. (a) Henry Lawes: Would you know whats soft?


Passamezzo offer here a dazzling display of their versatility
Review of the CD by Ian Payne published in The Consort

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