Music Of London Waits 1580-1650
City Musick, The; Lyons, William
“Why these are the city waits, who play every winter’s night through the streets to rouse each lazy drone to family duty. These are the topping tooters of the town, and have gowns, silver chains, and salaries, for playing Lilliburlero to my Lord Mayor’s horse through the city.” This 1709 reference to a professional band of musicians conjures the thriving city of London in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The band’s sound is replicated on this release by the modern-day namesake The City Musick directed by foremost expert in the field William Lyons (who is also director of the Grammy-nominated Dufay Collective). The drones of dulcians and cornets, sackbuts and shawms, evoke the era’s civic events, theatrical productions and liturgical services, paying homage to the unsung talents of the Waits from the period when their reputation was at its zenith. The City Musick was formed to explore the diverse repertoire of civic and court wind players in 16th and 17th century Europe and is now firmly established as the premier renaissance wind band in the UK.