Elizabeth’s Dream is a recording of English and Irish Renaissance era music, some other pieces reminiscent of that period, and some original compositions inspired by that period. While scholars will note that some of the tunes come from periods significantly later than that of Elizabethan England, they share a commonality of style, especially in the dream state, where ultimately, our imaginations must live.
1: Elizabeth’s Dream S.K. Smith ” 2001– A composition of Steve’s which grew gradually from improvisations inspired by the musical environment of the Ohio Renaissance Festival.
2: Now, Oh Now I Needs Must Part — A song by the immortal Elizabethan lutenist, John Dowland. Dowland was one of Elizabeth’s favorite musicians, but never achieved the post of court musician because of his politically unfavorable religious beliefs.
3: Never Could Love You More — S.K. Smith ” 2002 — Reminiscent of an English country dance tune, Steve wrote this little tune in the summer of 2002.
4: It was a lover and his Lass — This music is a setting by Thomas Moore to words by William Shakespeare, from the play, “As you Like it.”
5: Crossing the Meadow — S. K. Smith ” 2001– A happy tune that reminds one of a walk through a field of wildflowers on an sunny day.
6: Packington’s Pound — Francis Cutting wrote this melody, which changes between Aeolian and Dorian modes. Francis Cutting was a contemporary of Shakespeare’s, and was a popular composer and performer of the day.
7: Improvisation – S.K. Smith ” 2001– Key of E-dorian improvisation recorded at Ohio University with J. Brent Raney as the engineer.
8: O’Carolan’s Draught — Turloch O’Carolan wrote many excellent harp tunes in Ireland during the 18th century. This is a fine tune that, sadly, many Mountain Dulcimer player’s have neglected.
9: Merrily Kiss the Quaker — A lively Irish jig that must have an interesting set of words to it somewhere, but I’ve never seen them.
10: Landler by Joseph Kuffler — Based on a Norwegian dance tune, this tune provides a pleasant change of pace, with an appropriately dreamy feel.
11: The Minstrel Boy — The title actually refers to a set of words by Thomas Moore (1779-1852) to a much older tune entitled “The Moreen.” Steve plays this on a four string equidistant dulcimer tuned to a high A, AEae.
12: Improvisation –S.K. Smith ” 2002– Another improvisation captured in the studio as it happened.
13: A Wedding Gift — S.K. Smith ” 1988 — Steve wrote this piece back in 1988 in honor of his mother Reva’s wedding to Marvin.
14: Si Bheg, Si Mor — One of O’Carolan’s first compositions, and also one of his best known and best loved. Steve plays this on the baritone dulcimer in A.
15: Now Evening has Come Again — S.K. Smith ” 2000 — This tune evokes the scene of the evening falling, and the drama of the night sky.
16: Lord Inchiquin — Turloch O’Carolan. A fine tune, named in honor of one of O’Carolan’s patrons. I play this in the key of A with parts for three dulcimers that I play, in addition to Jerry’s dulcimer, and Sean’s Flute.
17: Staine’s Morris — Painfully difficult on the mountain dulcimer, this is a quintessentially English dance tune. It changes from A minor to C major, which Steve plays using the 8+ fret and capoing at the 1+ fret.
18: The Beggar Boy — An English Country Dance tune from the collection byPlayford, first published in 1651. Considering only the melody by itself, this is in the Phrygian mode, but the chordal accompaniment somewhat confuses this. Jerry and Sean help me on this one.
19: Galliard et Salterello by Pierre d’Attaignant — A court dance from a French composer, a contemporary of Elizabeth’s father, Henry VIII.
20: Minuet in G-minor from the Anna Magdalenna Bach notebook — attributed to Christian Petzold. This piece is from one of the most famous “workbooks” in musical history. J. S. Bach complied this collection of tunes for his second wife’s keyboard study. Steve transposed this to A minor and plays it using the 1+ and 8+ frets on a standard dulcimer tuned DAd.
21: Now is the Month of Maying — This tune was set by Thomas Morley to words by the prolific medieval author, “Anonymous.” Jerry Rockwell and Sean O’Malley assist me with this fine English Melody.