Press Room

VIA Records Releases Claire van Kampen’s Wolf Hall: The Tudor Music on June 9

“The music, throughout…has been superb.” – The Guardian (UK) on BBC/PBS TV’s Wolf Hall



VIA Records brings the couwolf hall imagert of Henry VIII to life with the release of Wolf Hall: The Tudor Music on June 9. Recorded on period instruments at London’s famed Abbey Road Studios with the Musicians of Shakespeare’s Globe, the new soundtrack album comprises late 15th-century and early 16th-century dances and songs heard in the hit BBC/PBS TV series Wolf Hall, as expertly sourced and arranged by Claire van Kampen, former music director of England’s Royal Shakespeare Company, National Theatre, and founding Director of Music at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. Wolf Hall: The Tudor Music is already available digitally, exclusively from iTunes. Scheduled for U.S. release on June 9 and UK release on June 29, the forthcoming CD may be pre-ordered from Amazon. As Q2 Music put it, “The least surprising thing about VIA Records is the sheer mega-wattage of talent brought on board by an organization whose central premise is interdisciplinary collaboration.

Based on the two Booker Prize-winning novels of Hilary Mantel, BBC/PBS TV’s Wolf Hall tells the story of Thomas Cromwell, key political fixer and advisor to England’s tyrannical Henry VIII. It was Henry’s love and patronage of music, and the secularization of musical life resulting from his self-serving creation of the Church of England, that sowed the seeds for the nation’s great musical resurgence in the reign of his daughter, Elizabeth I. Unlike Henry’s grandfather, who employed just five musicians in court, he supported no fewer than 58, many of them recruited from England’s musically advanced European neighbors.

As Wolf Hall music historian Claire van Kampen explained to the Wall Street Journal, “Henry VIII’s period is extraordinary, because it’s when everything changes in music.” In an illuminating liner note to the forthcoming release, she elaborates:

“Henry VIII … was musically highly educated, leaving a legacy of his own songs and compositions. His invitation to the musicians of France, Venice and the Low Countries to bring their talents to the English courts resulted in the flowering of the English Golden Age of music, under his – and Anne Boleyn’s – daughter, Queen Elizabeth I. This created a tremendous diversity of material – a taste of which we were able to represent on Wolf Hall.”

To capture as accurately as possible the soundtrack to the life of Henry’s court, van Kampen drew on music by the king himself, as well as that of English court composers William Cornysh and Hugh Aston, France’s Pierre Sandrin, Antwerp’s Tielman Susato, Bologna’s Marc’Antonio Pifaro, Jewish-Italian dance expert Guglielmo Ebreo, and peerless Franco-Flemish master Josquin des Prez, together with excerpts from such contemporary collections as Ravenscroft’s Deuteromelia and the Dublin Virginal Manuscript. (A complete track listing is provided below.)

Performing these works on such authentic period instruments as cornetts, sackbuts, shawms, crumhorns, lutes, the hurdy-gurdy, and the rebec, are the Musicians of Shakespeare’s Globe – van Kampen herself on virginals – as heard on their acclaimed 2006 recording This World’s Globe. For Wolf Hall’s TV series, the early-music specialists performed live by candlelight in England’s great historic houses. “The musicians were filmed live playing in the gallery where Henry actually walked with Anne Boleyn,” van Kampen told the Wall Street Journal. “We all had goosebumps.

The series stars van Kampen’s husband and longtime collaborator, Mark Rylance – first artistic director of Shakespeare’s Globe and the winner of multiple Tony and Olivier “Best Actor” Awards – with whom she shares the 2007 Sam Wanamaker Award for their founding work in the opening ten years at Shakespeare’s Globe. It was van Kampen who scored the Broadway productions of Twelfth Night and Richard III with which Rylance wowed New York last season.

The album will also be available for purchase at the legendary Globe Theatre in London.

For high-resolution photos, click here.

Wolf Hall: The Tudor Music – track listing

1. Trumpet Parley: Trad (from Arbeau)
2. My Lady Carey’s Dompe: poss. Hugh Aston (1485-1558)
3. Hoboekendans: Tielman Susato (c.1515-70)Ah Robyn: William Cornysh (1465-1523)
4. Scaramella: Josquin Des Prez (1440-1521)
5. Romanesca: The Dublin Manuscript (c.1530-70s)
6. Alas What Should I Do: King Henry VIII
7. Bassadansa: from Guglielmo Ebreo (1420-1481), reconstructed by La Rossignol
8.Browning: Trad (from Ravenscroft collection, Deuteromelia, 1609)
9. Trumpet Fanfare No. 1: Trad (from Arbeau)
10. En Vray Amour: King Henry VIII
11. Tandernaken: King Henry VIII, c.1510 (from a Flemish source)
12. My Lady Carey’s Dompe, version 2: poss. Hugh Aston (1485-1558)
13. Helas Madame: King Henry VIII (from a French source)
14. Hoboekendans Extra: Tielman Susato (c.1515-70)
15. Ce qui souloit: Pierre Sandrin (1490-1561)
16. Tourdion: printed by Pierre Attaingnant, 1530
17. Whereto Should I: King Henry VIII M/S
18. Chiaranzana: Marc’Antonio Pifaro, c.1500
19. Green Grows the Holly: King Henry VIII

About VIA Records

Since launching with three inaugural titles last fall, VIA Records has already been hailed as “an essential new voice in the future of American classical music” (Q2 Music). VIA Records, lead by label director Natalia Schwien, is a subsidiary of VisionIntoArt (VIA), a non-profit production company dedicated to fostering collaborative and interdisciplinary new music. Founded in 1999 by composer-impresario Paola Prestini, VIA is the sustaining force behind more than 70 original productions to date. Previously, VIA Records released Anna Clyne’s The Violin, Jeffrey Zeigler’s Something of Life and Prestini’s own Oceanic Verses and Labyrinth: Installation Concertos; violin virtuoso Tim Fain’s new album, First Loves, David T. Little’s first full-length opera, Dog Days, and percussionist Ian Rosenbaum’s Memory Palace are all scheduled for release later this season.


© 21C Media Group, May 2015

Photo Courtesy of Ed Miller-Playground & Company Pictures for Masterpiece-BBC

Return to Press Room