wayting for christmas - the troubadours (RVRCD69)

CAROLS AND FESTIVE MUSIC PLAYED ON HISTORICAL INSTRUMENTS.

Carols bring with them their own moods, pictures and personal associations. The stock is vast, so we have chosen those which suit the instruments used. We hope you will find some old favourites amongst the selection and enjoy hearing them performed in a way which may be new to you.

It is interesting to note that many tunes known today as carols have their origins elsewhere - a catchy tune may easily be turned into a carol simply by changing the words or adding appropriate verses where none existed before. Thus, can a 16th. Century French dance tune become Ding Dong Merrily on High and a song, originally intended for Spring, find itself in the middle of Winter as Good King Wenceslas. It should also be remembered that many early carols have 'dance' origins - Gabriel fram Heven-King being a good example of this.

A visit from local or itinerant Waites (Waytes) was once an essential part of Christmas - hence the title for this CD. Carols and seasonal greetings would be exchanged for hospitality and 'liquid refreshment' before moving on to the next household! (as in The Gloucestershire Wassail)

Originally, Waites appear to have been night-watchmen but the tradition of also playing music (not just at Christmas) clearly became a profitable sideline for local musicians. A number of tracks on the recording therefore include 'village renditions' and, as was probably standard procedure in many cases, all carols are played in our own arrangements. Some original compositions are also included.

David Marshall 2002

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