To Shorten Winter's Sadness

English Music and Song for Christmas and Winter

from the 16th and 17th Centuries

Edited by Tamsin Lewis

This useful publication with music for the festive season contains 41 instrumental and vocal pieces grouped in 10 themes: The Coming of Winter, Advent, Christmas, Christmas Revelry, Innocent's Day, New Year's Day, Epiphany, Candlemas - the End of Christmas and The Cold of Winter. The music ranges from two to five parts and most of the pieces are texted. The layout is exemplary and where he original source has only one voice, tasteful arrangements have been made. There are no tablatures, not even for the lute song Now Winter Nights Enlarge the Number of their Hours by Thomas Campion. There are a few pieces where it would be nice to play continuo, but most of the pieces are best suited to single line playing and singing. The book contains a listing of the original sources and a relevant bibliography. This is the ideal book to play from with friends on those long winter nights, or as a source for next year's Christmas concert. I can recommend it to you all.

New Book review by David van Ooijen for the Japanese Lute Society