The Elfin Knight - Ballads and Dances

Traditional English and Scottish ballads and dances in new arrangements

Photo: Thomas Zwillinger

This innovative program, the CD of which was released by harmonia mundi in August of 2007, presents a combination of ballads in their original form and arrangements by major composers of the Renaissance including John Dowland and Thomas Ravenscroft. These arrangements have been further adapted and “re-arranged” by Joel Frederiksen to form an entirely new program. The focal point of this program is the oldest known source from 1610 of the Scottish ballad, The Elfin Knight, which becomes in its many variants the well-known ballad “Scarborough Fair”. Three versions of Scarborough Fair are presented on this recording—one from London, one from Northumbria and the other from the Appalachian mountains of America! There are humorous ballads with erotic themes such as “Watkin’s Ale” as well as songs of everlasting and sometimes tragic love, as in “Barbara Ellen”. A song called “London’s Lotterie” advertises for people to move from the Old World to the New, while “Lord Darly” tells the story of the fate of the second husband of Mary, Queen of Scots. A fresh look at the art of balladry and Renaissance music.

Performers: Joel Frederiksen — bass, lute and musical direction / Timothy Leigh Evans — tenor, percussion / Domen Marincic — viola da gamba / Sven Schwannberger — lute, theorbo, flute, tenor / Axel Wolf — theorbo / Bruno Caillat — percussion

David Skudliken-en