CD A0650: Thy Trembling Strings

Thy Trembling Strings
Sarah Deere-Jones & Phil Williams

CD cover: Thy Trembling Strings Performed on antique instruments from the era, this selection of rarely heard dance tunes from a family archive, and the authentic music of a virtually forgotten Regency instrument, the harp-lute, all discovered by professional harpist Sarah Deere-Jones, make this recording a rare and revealing contribution to early 19th century repertoire.

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Sarah Deere-Jones profile page with index of recordings and compositions

Audio Samples & Track Listing

1 La Petite Montignard, Polish Waltz, La Penelope 4:02
2 Slow Air, Country Dance, Scottish Reel 4:42
3 The last rose of summer $:31
4 Neil Gow’s lament for the death of his second wife,
Yellow-Hair’d laddie, O’Carolan’s concerto
5 Non lo dira col labbro 2:00
6 La Conquerante, L’ inconstant 3:03
7 Rondo Bach -Duet for harp-lute and harp 2:17
8 O lovely is the summer moon 4:01
9 La Nouvelle Chasse, La Flora, La Felesia 4:41
10 Waly Waly 3:45
11 Rondo in F major 2:47


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The last rose of summer performed by Sarah Deere-Jones & Phil Williams

CD Notes

1. La Petite Montignard, Polish Waltz, La Penelope
Three quadrille tunes published in 1810 as ‘performed by Mr James Paine and his band at the Argyll Rooms at Almack's, and the Carlton House Fete, arranged for pianoforte or Harp by F.J Klose.’ Almack’s was a dance and social club in St James’ London, famous at the beginning of the 19th century and frequented by the rich and famous. This original book contains instructions on how the dances were to be performed, with scribbled notes from past musicians about how many times they were played! Our ‘soiree’ versions for harp and parlour guitar of these pretty tunes stand on their own as delightful chamber pieces.

2. Slow Air, Country Dance, Scottish Reel Light/trad
A collection of tunes played on the harp-lute, all authentic solo pieces for the instrument taken from the ‘New and compleat instructions for playing on the harp-lute’ by Edward Light, which was the first tutor book written by the inventor of the instrument in 1810. A light harp accompaniment has been added in places.

3. The last rose of summer Moore. arr Deere-Jones
Words and Music Thomas Moore (1779-1852) Irish poet and performer, friend of Lord Byron and a member of Almack’s club he was a celebrity of the age in London society. This song was published in the 1820s, this version has been arranged for harp-lute and pedal harp.

4. Neil Gow’s lament for the death of his second wife, Yellow-Hair’d laddie, O’Carolan’s concerto
Neil Gow 1727-1807, was a prize winning Scottish fiddle player credited as writing at least 87 dance tunes, his second wife Margaret Urquhart died in 1805 which inspired this beautiful melody. Yellow Hair’d Laddie was a popular traditional tune in Regency Salons, even appearing in Jane Austen’s personal music collection. The music of Turlough O’Carolan the 17th century blind Irish harper, was collected by Edward Bunting in 1792, and inspired a revival of interest in the Irish harp, encouraged by the beautiful harps then produced by the famous Belfast maker John Egan.

5. Non lo dira col labbro G.F.Handel
This song is most usually known as ‘Silent Worship’ but the translation in that version was not done until 1928 and the English words in it bear little resemblance to the original meaning. From the opera ‘Ptolemy’ this song would have been sung in Italian in Regency times and the words actually translate as’I will not say it with my lips, which have not the courage, perhaps the sparks of my burning eyes, revealing my passion, my glance will speak.’

6. La Conquerante, L’ inconstant
Two quadrilles from Paine’s album of dance music written for his band of musicians, L’inconstant from the 5th set and from the 7th set ’La Conquerante which is dedicated to ‘her grace the duchess of Wellington’, who was with the Duke, a regular member of Almack’s club. The Duke, after his successes in the war against France was one of the biggest ‘celebrities’ of his day, and proof that Almack’s which was known as ‘the seventh heaven of the fashionable world’ only admitted the most select of society.

7. Rondo Bach—Duet for harp-lute and harp, arr Edward Light
Another authentic piece arranged as a harp-lute and pedal harp duet by Edward Light and taken from his ‘New and complete directory on the art of playing on the patent British Lute-Harp’ dated 1817. By this time his instruments were gradually evolving and had acquired ‘ditals’, small buttons that could alter the pitch of individual strings enabling fast accidentals to be played. In the harp-lute repertoire there are several duets for harp-lute and pedal harp or piano-forte, a popular combination.

8. O lovely is the summer moon H. R. Bishop arr Deere-Jones
With words by Miss Anna Maria Porter, this pretty sentimental song is mentioned in ‘The quarterly review’ in 1823 and it’s composer Henry Bishop (1786-1855) was a well known composer in the early 19th century most famous for ‘Home Sweet Home’ which remained famous for 150 years after it was written. His later life was marred by scandal when his wife the singer Anna Riviere ran away to Australia with the harpist and composer Robert Boscha! Arranged here for harp-lute with harp added in second verse.

9. La Nouvelle Chasse, La Flora, La Felesia
Another group of quadrille tunes all taken from set one of James Paine’s book published in 1810, here played on harp and parlour guitar. This set of dances is dedicated to Prince Frederick of Prussia another regular client, In most of the sets there are dedications to important and no doubt influential members of the club. Whilst these tunes would have been played by a small ensemble at Almack’s club, this old book contains arrangements of them reduced ‘for harp or piano-forte’ by FJ Klose and was obviously intended for the domestic market.

10. Waly Waly trad arr. Deere-Jones
This was another popular traditional piece in Regency salons, it appeared in’Relics of Ancient English poetry’ vol III by Thomas Percy and in the ‘Edinburgh Musical Miscellany’ 1793 , and today is a very well known traditional song with many versions of it across England although with variable tunes. It also appears in Jane Austen’s personal collection of music, and the same tune is used in this arrangement for harp, harp-lute and sung by Sarah.

11. Rondo in F major R.N.C. Boscha
Robert Nicolas-Charles Bochsa 1789 - 1856 was a harpist, composer and rogue! After studying at the Paris Conservatoire, Bochsa was appointed harpist to the Imperial orchestra in 1813 but in 1817 he was forced to flee France to avoid prosecution for counterfeiting, fraud and forgery. Settling in London, Bochsa was one of the founding members of the Royal Academy of music and became the Secretary of this organisation in 1821, as well as professor of Harp, teaching the famous virtuoso Elias Parish Alvars. Although already married he ran away with the singer Anna Riviere to Australia where he died shortly afterwards


The CD booklet contains further information about the music and the instruments used in this recording.

See also

Album Information

Title: Thy Trembling Strings
Artist: Sarah Deere-Jones, Phil Williams
Instruments: Harp, Harp-Lute, Parlour Guitar
Genre: English Regency Music
Format: CD
Our Ref: A0650
Label: Cornwall Harp Centre
Year: 2012
Origin: UK