On this album, trumpeter Matthias Höft and organist Matthias Janz engage with English composers from the Renaissance to the late Baroque. The two northern Germans met in the St. Marien Church in Flensburg and have united the works under three headings: “Old English Dances”, “Song Tunes” and “Trumpet Voluntaries”. Almost all works were originally composed for flute, recorder and organ, or harpsichord and organ. All arrangements are by Matthias Höfs and Matthias Janz, both of whom use modern instruments. It was certainly very helpful that Matthias Höfs can not only masterfully arrange music, but also, together with the Thein company, develop his own trumpets. “With natural trumpet and historical organ, our repertoire selected for this CD would not be playable” write the two in the booklet of this recording.
The album begins with an arrangement of the world-famous tune “Greensleeves” and moves into English dances by William Byrd, John Bull, Giles Farnaby, Sergent Major Kennedy and Robert Johnson. These dances are from a collection of Elizabethan dance movements for harpsichord, mostly from the Fitzwilliam Virginial Book, written around 1600.
This is followed by a concerto by the flute virtuoso John Baston and a sonata by the blind composer, organist and violinist John Stanley.
In the other six pieces Matthias Höft lets his trumpet sing. All works were published in the song collection “The Musical Entertainer” by George Bickham in 1737. In addition to three anonymous sources, the composers here are William Turner, George Monro and George Frideric Handel.
Again a concerto and a sonata are heard in the following – this time by Robert Woodcock and G. F. Händel. Then William Boyce opens the last, festive and above all very upbeat chapter of the album with his “Trumpet Voluntary No. 1”. The following pieces by John Stanley and Simon Stubley were already very popular works during their lifetimes. In the original for harpsichord and organ, now masterfully transposed for trumpet and organ.