Quasi una suita antica (essay by Lazar Ardov, English translation by Asya Ardova)
Quasi una suita antica
(essay by Lazar Ardov, English translation by Asya Ardova)
Listen to the soundtrack QUASI UNA SUITA ANTICA compiled and performed by Asya Ardova on the page ardSOUND of ardisonata.
Renaissance came to England , but not only from the Southern Europe. Although the English culture was undeniably nourished by the Italian art, there meanwhile arose inner spiritual forces in England itself. The poet Henry Surrey, contemporary of the new age, expressed the situation as follows:
From Tuscane came my Lady's worthy race,
Fair Florence was sometimes her ancient seat:
The western isle, whose pleasant shore doth face
Wild Camber's cliffs, did give her lovely heat.
Unlike Italy , the English "ars nova" (the new art) did not reject old aesthetic, especially the late Middle Ages with its "flaming gothic". It's just enough to look at the magnificent Lincoln Cathedral.
However, religion was undergoing essential changes inside the human minds. That was a blissful pleasurable belief in the almighty Creator of nature and life. Thomas More describes it in his "Utopia": "All of them consider, that the supreme reason is nature itself, the divinity and majestic power of which inspires the whole humanity to the universal comprehension…"
Let's get in touch with the people, portrayed by the great artist Hans Holbein Jr, who worked in England that exact time. Enjoy their beauty and spiritual world together with the composition Quasi una suita antica compiled and performed by Asya Ardova on the page ardSOUND of ardisonata. These are 5 dances (Alman, Corranto A minor, Muscadin, Irish Lamento, Corranto G major) by the unknown author of the 16th century's beginning.
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Nature was the main subject for researchers, reviving antique philosophy and scientists. Thomas More marks: "… music, dialectics and the science of numbers and measurement were embraced by them the same way as by the ancient philosophers". Special equipment was constructed for explorations. "…they were as inventive as to formulate different devices and machines, able to examine the motion of the Sun and the Moon, so as the other planets, seen on the horizon." Nature, stars and the Sun were not already the subjects of forecasters and astrologists, although it was not easy to banish all that stuff. "Even their daydreams are far from all this unnecessary clairvoyance usually realized by means of celestial bodies ─ either constellated or dissociated."
Henry Howard Earl of Surrey
Poets worship just a human-being, stirred by natural feelings, thus drawing attention to Virtue and Fortune.
What is the fortune? Renaissance determines Love to be the supreme pleasure:
Her beauty of kind; her virtues from above,
Happy is he that can obtain her love.
These exact verses by Henry Surrey seem to be about Anne Boleyn, for this is natural beauty to feed Renaissance art.
John More, son of Thomas More
Renaissance is the age of creative diligent figures. Although hard work is appreciated and inculcated, young men enjoy spare time not just for rare "hours of idleness", but also for scientific vocation. Thomas More wrote: "…they are either studying music, or just resting and talking." Science carries them far from reality, when quite of a sudden they burst into boisterous laughter, being enthralled by MUSIC, considered as the scientific discipline already since the time of Antiquity.
Edward Lord Clinton
Policy, literature, music were usual occupations for Lord Clinton, typical representative of the Renaissance. Religion and philosophy were the spheres, where he searched poly-semantic decisions of ethic and moral problems. And again the man of Renaissance determined Human Fortune as the highest morality for everyone. Thomas More said once, that "…the soul is immortal being born for good luck".
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Cameo of the 16th century's second half.
The English culture, including music, continued its development and flourishment in the second half of the 16th century, straight during the reign of Elizabeth I.
Quasi una suita antica anticipates the apex of harpsichord music, when brilliant performing school was established. Elizabeth's court composer William Byrd served as the organist in the Lincoln Cathedral, that symbol of never extinguished English gothic, the full name of which is Cathedral Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Lincoln. The type of harpsichord, created that time was called virginal, maybe in honour of Elizabeth I, the virgin.