PLato and Aristotle, the profoundest of their times, thought the best education to bee defectiue, without music ... : which when I consider (Right Honorable) together with the worthy approbation you haue giuen to many prosessors of the same, I am not onely encouraged, still to practise, but willingly to publish these songes, (as the badges of my affection) to all posterity : And for, because those things are most embraced ; which men find approued, by the voice of greatnesse, I therefore, ambitiously thought it best, to single out your Honor, being best able to protect them, hopefully assuring my selfe, that your spirites, (which are incombred with many cares) may a little bee delighted in the hearing of these songes, which if they may attaine, I your Honors humble votarie, shall be highly fortunate, and thereby the rather perswaded to liue and die,
Your Honours most bounden in all humble duety,
1607. The original book was first published in 1607 and was titled; The First Set of Madrigals, of 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8 Parts, for Viols and Voices, or for Voices alone; or as you please... ... Imprinted by John Windet. 1607.
Only the Cantus and Bassus parts of this madrigals book survives. However fifteen of the 26 madrigals have been reconstructed or were preserved in manuscripts.
1924. Robert Jones; First Set of Madrigals, English Madrigalist Series, Volume 35A. (0979 6.) Transcribed, Scored and Edited. London: Stainer & Bell, in 1924.
This volume is still in print and available, for 24 pounds, from Stainer & Bell at; http://www.stainer.co.uk/acatalog/EnglishMadrigalists.html
I. THINE EYES SO BRIGHT
Thine eyes so bright
Bereft my sight
When first I viewed thy face.
So now my light
Is turned to night,
I stray from place to place.
Then guide me of thy kindness,
So shall I bless my blindness.
1. Thine eyes so bright - Notes from Edmond Fellowes 'English Madrigal Verse';
I. printed in A Poetical Rhapsody, l602 (Rollins, i, p. 135).
She only is the pride of Nature's skill;
In none but her all graces friendly meet.
In an save her may Cupid have his will;
By none but her is Fancy under feet.
Most strange of all, her praise is in her want;
Her heart that should be flesh is adamant.
Source ; Robert Jones; First Set of Madrigals, English Madrigalist Series, Volume 35A. Transcribed, Scored and Edited. London: Stainer & Bell, in 1924.
1. Thine eyes so bright &
2. She only is the pride - Notes, Recordings and Comments
I don't know of any recording of these madrigals nor do I know of any recordings of any of the 26 madrigal in this book. The only madrigal by Jones that is on disc is his, well recorded, Oriana madrigal.
Only parts of Jones' madrigal book survives. Only the Cantus and Bassus parts of these, first six, three part madrigals survive. In the Stainer & Bell's book these three part madrigals have been reconstructed by Edmund H. Fellowes who has written in the top part.
It is in regarding these six madrigals that David Brown says one of the few positive things about the works of Jones. He writes in his erroneous summery of Robert Jones in The New Grove Dictionary"Jones modelled his style on the Morley canzonet, and he appears to have handled this most successfully in the six three-voice works ..."
In his book on Philip Rosseter, John Jeffreys makes this comment on Jones's madrigals;
... Both Allison and Farmer were the authors of some excellent madrigals. The former's work provides us with a noticeable contrast to that of other Madrigalists, as a whole, in that it is predominately homophonic. He also showed a rare discretion in his choice of words. ... One of the other few composers who thus scored some madrigals was Robert Jones. ... " 'The Life And Works of Philip Rosseter' John Jeffreys, (page 16).
Notes from Edmond Fellowes 'English Madrigal Verse';
II. Printed in A Poetical Rhapsody, l602 (Rollins, i, p. 140), ending with 'Laudo quod lugeo'.
Notes from Edmond Fellowes 'Notes' to Volume XXXV (1924) (Jones' Madrigal book).;
"I-II. These two small poems were printed anonymously in Davison's '' Poetical Rhapsody." - Edmund H. Fellowes in Stainer & Bell's English Madrigalist Series, Jones book.
Edmond Fellowes 'English Madrigal Verse';
Robert Jones; First Set of Madrigals, English Madrigalist Series, Volume 35A. (0979 6.) Transcribed, Scored and Edited. London: Stainer & Bell, in the 1924.
David Brown's summery of Robert Jones in The New Grove Dictionary London Macmillan, 2001.
* 'The Life And Works of Philip Rosseter' by John Jeffreys (1990)
Roberton Publications, The Windmill, Wendover, Aylesbury HP22 6JJ. Printed in Great Britain by Lavenham Press Ltd.