The Renaissance Band continues to chug through Dowland’s “A
Pilgrim’s Solace”. This week’s new one was Tell me,
true Love, where shall I seeke thy being.
It was a particularly difficult transcription problem, and the
solution is unsatisfactory in several ways.
- The Cantus part repeats the B section with the same words. The
bassus part has what’s effectively a first ending that’s more
elaborate than 17th century repeat notation can deal with, so it’s
written out. The transcription mirrors that, so I have inserted
rehearsal letters in the bass part. B is the start of the first
repeat, and C corresponds to the second time through the repeat in the
- The above problem doesn’t really affect the Altus and Bassus,
since they only come in on the repeat of the chorus. That is, the
start of the notes and words is at section C in the bass. In our
rehearsal, we had the people on the Tenor and Altus parts sing Bassus
and Cantus on the A and B sections, and switch to their parts for C.
In performance, we would probably have a solo singer on A and B, and
then everybody come in on C.
- The verses have very different numbers of syllables. The underlay
of the first verse, which is all Dowland did, works fine. The other
verses would need some tweaking if you were going to perform them.
Let me know if you get a better solution to the problem than I did.