Mr. Kynaston's Famous Dance Vol 1&2

by Belshazzar's Feast

Colourful interpretation of English early eighteenth-century dance tunes from the Kynaston Collection on fiddle, oboe and accordion. Played at dance tempo. 

DOUBLE ALBUM re-released from two previous single CDs

This is an album in The Dance Collection distinguished from other tune albums since the music is played at the right tempo for dancing and played the right number of times through to make a sensible dance. Played on fiddle, oboe and accordion. There is a book of the same name containing music and steps by renowned caller Andrew Shaw and available from him. The book has facsimiles of the original music and dance notation, plus transcriptions of the music edited by Paul Sartin and Paul Hutchinson.

For those unfortunate enough never to have heard Belshazzars Feast, one can only make the general comment that musicianship of this grade is only too rare. The CD regally bounces along for a full hour, and is relaxedly exhilarating throughout. If you play or like listening to dance music, this album is an object lesson. If you like the dancing, you will probably never have heard it played this well. Flos Headford Shreds and Patches June 2000



The Merry Conclusion: or, Mr. Kynastons Famous Dance
Blenheim House
The Queen Of Hearts
Lille
Count Leon
Woud You Have A Young Virgin
Pastons Maggot
Old Simon The King
Neat, Mr. John
Cupid Disarmd
Bonny Grey-Eyd Morn
Woodstock Park

Vol 2:


Softly Good Tummas
Whiskers
The She Favourite
Deil Take the Warr
Vaughans Ramble
Whitsun Holidays
Bickerstaffes Prophesie
Evans Delight
Fops Fancy
Dudmason Hall
The Gay Young Squire
Old Hob
Orange Nan
Well Done Jack

Bickerstaff's Prophesie     

Twenty Four New Country Dances for the Year: 1711...by...Nathaniell Kynaston.

London. J.Walsh, P.Randall, J.Hare, [1710]

Form: Long set, 3 cpls, 4/4, AABB x 3.

The She Favourite

Twenty Four New Country Dances for the Year: 1711...by...Nathaniell Kynaston.

London. J.Walsh, P.Randall, J.Hare, [1710]

Form: Long set, 3 cpls, 3/2, AABB x 3.

The Gay Young Squire

Twenty Four New Country Dances for the Year 1718...by...Natl. Kynaston.

London. J.Walsh, J.Hare, [1718]

Form: Longways, duple minor, 4/4, AAB x 7.

Softly Good Tummas

Twenty Four New Country Dances for the Year 1718...by...Natl.Kynaston.

London. J.Walsh, J.Hare, [1718]

Form: Longways, duple minor, 4/4, AABB x 7.

Vaughan's Ramble

Twenty Four New Country Dances for the Year: 1711...by...Nathaniell Kynaston.

London. J.Walsh, P.Randall, J.Hare, [1710]

Form: Longways, duple minor, 9/4, AABB x 7.

Well Done Jack

Twenty Four New Country Dances for the Year 1718...by...Natl. Kynaston.

London. J.Walsh, J.Hare, [1718]

Form: Longways, duple minor, 4/4, AABB x 7.

Dudmason Hall

Twenty Four New Country Dances for the Year 1716...by...Natl. Kynaston.

London. J.Walsh, J.Hare, [1716]    

Form: Long set, 3 cpls, 4/4, AABB x 6.

Orange Nan

Twenty Four New Country-Dances, For the Year 1713...

London. J.Walsh, J.Hare, [1712].

Form: Longways, duple minor, 3/2, AABB x 7.

Whiskers

Twenty Four New Country-Dances, For the Year 1713...

London. J.Walsh, J.Hare, [1712]

Form: Longways, triple minor, 2/4, AAB x 7.

Evans's Delight

Twenty Four New Country Dances For the Year 1715...Compos'd by Several Authors.

London. J.Walsh, J.Hare, [1714]

Form: Long set, 3 cpls, 6/8, AABB x 6.

Fop's Fancy

Twenty Four New Country Dances For the Year 1715...Compos'd by Several Authors.

London. J.Walsh, J.Hare, [1714]

Form: Longways, duple minor, 3/2, AABBCC x 7.

Whitsun Holidays or The Parson in the Pease

The Second Book of The Compleat Country Dancing-Master...

London. J.Walsh, J.Hare, 1719

Form: Longways, duple minor, 6/8, AAB x 7.

De'il Take The Warr

The Dancing Master: Vol. the First...The 17th Edition...

London. John Young, 1721

Form: Long set, 3 cpls, 4/4, AABB x 3.

Old Hob or The Mouse Trap

The Second Book of The Compleat Country Dancing-Master...

London. J.Walsh, J.Hare, 1719

Form: Longways, duple minor, 6/8, AABB x 7.

 

See description section of sleeve notes for track list
Mr Kynaston's Famous Dance
Sample not available
Neat Mr John
Sample not available
Softly Good Tummas
Sample not available
Well Done Jack
Sample not available

Anglo American Dance Services Belgium

Philippe Callens

Who was Nathaniel Kynaston? He was an English dancing master from the beginning of the eighteenth century. Music publisher John Walsh, who published a collection of 24 new country dances in London each year since 1705, published five collections with dances written by Kynaston. That makes 120 dances known to us. This is quite unique in the history of country dancing.

Pat Shaw and Tom Cook had worked with these collections before, but it is actually Andrew Shaw from Manchester, who has been teaching twice in Belgium already, who deserves the merit of having explored this material in detail. His book Mr. Kynastons Famous Dance contains a selection of nine dances; the other three dances in the book have other origins, but date from the same period, late 17th and early 18th century.

Andrew used the following selection standards: tunes of a good quality and interesting dance figures. And this is really noticeable when reading the book. It is a fascinating collection of tunes with equally fascinating matching dances. The material is not evident though and meant for connoisseurs. It could be labelled not for immediate consumption. Neat, Mr. John, Pastons Maggot, Lille and Count Leon (with nine bars in the B?tune) are three?couple dances; The Queen of Hearts (originally a quadruple minor !) with its long musical sentences, is a four?couple dance; The Merry Conclusion is a wonderful Iongways ? perhaps the dance to become a hit ? and Woodstock Park is actually the only fairly easy dance.

The music on the accompanying cd was played by the English duo Paul Sartin (oboe and violin) and Paul Hutchinson (accordion), known together as Belshazzars Feast. When I listened to the cd for the first time six months ago, I was puzzled, but I was immediately struck by the musical richness of the recording. This opinion is still valid. The subtitle of the cd an interpretation of 17th and 18th century English country dance tunes describes the intentions of Belshazzars Feast very well. No easy matter, rather a musical exploration. The musical interpretation and the lack of clear rhythm could tempt you to dismiss it for dancing purposes. But it is really meant to be a dance?steady tempo, excellent intonation, clear starts. And just like the chosen dances, not for immediate consumption. During dancing there is a lot to discover, if you want to. But it takes some effort. The band Bare Necessities tries to achieve similar effects with dancers in their own particular way. The sound of Belshazzars Feast is peculiar, more so when the oboe and the accordion are playing together. Accordionist Paul Hutchinson also uses the typical drone technique. In short, this cd is a wonderful product, strongly recommended.


Folk on Tap

Mick Ryan

Mr Kynastons Famous Dance, the third album from Belshazzars Feast, is, to quote the subtitle, an interpretation of 17th and 18th Century English dance music. For me at least, it is very welcome indeed

For here are two genuine masters of instrumental music who epitomise the virtues of restraint, good taste, understatement and not taking yourself too seriously. The great majority of these tunes are from the eponymous Mr (Nathaniel) Kynaston, and the lads (Paul Sartin and Paul Hutchinson) interpret them with enormous wit, skill, verve and artistry. Paul Hutchinsons piano accordion playing is brilliant. Not only is every note of both melody and counter melody line perfect throughout, but his chording is beautiful as well. The greatest compliment I can pay to his playing, however, is that at no time would the average listener recognise this as piano accordion! In Pauls hands, this sometimes maligned instrument sounds like a superb combination of concertina, melodeon and pipe organ.

Likewise, Paul Sartins oboe playing is really exquisite. Always incredibly nimble in fast passages, he occasionally plays deceptively simple sounding runs of just a few sustained notes which make the hairs rise on the back of my neck. His fiddle playing, too, is terrific, always rhythmic without frenzy, inventive without pretension.

Every track is an absolute cracker, and it struck me that these tunes, as with Playford played by the likes of The Broadside Band, sound remarkably Northumbrian. So it occurs to me that what we think of as characteristically Northumbrian might in fact be characteristically English. Which is to say that, in Northumbrian music, we have a regional survival of what was formerly a more national music. If Im right, then this album, if it gets the recognition it deserves, might just possibly mark the start of some kind of English musical revival. Whatever, this is a very fine album indeed, and is my disc of the year.


Folk Roots (fRoots)

Nick Beale

Paul Hutchinson (accordian) and Paul Sartin (oboe/violin) play a selection of tunes from the Nathaniel Kynaston collection and the Beggars Opera, so welcome to the 18th century. Hardly suprising then that were not that far from baroque music at times, an impression underscored by the seemingly effortless intricacy of the music. Everything is played throught the right number of times for the associated dances (meaning a couple of tracks exceed seven minutes), the liner contains some basic instructions and Andrew Shaw has brought out a companion manual, apparently. That said, theres more than enough going on within the music to make it all work as a very satisfying listen in its own right.

 

Living Tradition

Dave Tuxford

John Walsh published annual collections of country dances form 1705, and his son John continued the series until his own death in 1766. Five of the surviving volumes contain 120 dances by Nathaniel Kynaston, about whom little is known other than that he possibly had connections with the Shropshire/Wales border country and was a composer of some skill. This CD contains nine of Mr Kynastons tunes, brought to the attention of Belshazzars Feast by Andrew Shaw, organiser of Altrinchams Lemmings Reprieve social dance club.

Paul Hutchinson (accordion) and Paul Sartin (oboe, violin, whistle, vocals - although he doesnt sing on this one) got together as Belshazzars Feast in 1995. Both have sound musical credentials, as this CD demonstrates. Sartin has been a professional singer at Oxfords Christ Church Cathedral and does session work. Hutchinson has spent most of his career on folk-oriented outfits and was a founder-member of Irish band IQ40. Two previous albums,  One Too Many and Drop the Reed, won critical approbation and comparison with the Albion Band in country dance mode, drawing on a variety of traditions.

Mr Kynaston, in contrast, draws entirely on the English tradition (insofar as any tune whose composer is known can be considered traditional - but lets not get into that debate!). In addition to the Kynaston contribution, there are three tunes from Gays The Beggars Opera. The sleeve note describes the tunes as magnificent, as they are (and performed equally magnificently by the two Pauls), echoing down the generations and effortlessly evoking visions of dancers long since elevated to that great celestial longway set.

Its easy to see why Belshazzars Feast are in such demand both in the UK and abroad. They have done country dance a considerable service by so ably ressurecting this material. They can play for my Playford any time.  


Shreds and Patches

Flos Headford

The title refers to Nathaniel Kynaston who provided 120 of the dances in the Walsh collections of the 18th century. Many believe he lived or at least had connections in the Welsh border area of Shropshire. This CD contains dance?length tunes to nine of Kynastons dances, composer unconfirmed, but likely to contain some of Kynastons compositions. The other three come from Gays Beggars Opera (1728).

For those unfortunate enough to have never heard Belshazzars Feast, one can only make the general comment that musicianship of this grade is only too rare. The style is reverent without being po?faced. Some of the tracks exude a joy in sheer musicality that all musicians should emulate. The arrangements are complex but true to the melody. Paul Hutchinson is one of the few accordion players I have ever enjoyed accompanying, in fact it is always a fun experience, a great pleasure. Paul Sartin is a very accomplished violin player, and a terrific oboist. Together they produce very precise (often stunningly nimble) music.

It is a delight to hear a few 3/2, 6/4 and 9/4 tunes. Newcomers to this music sometimes get the feeling that someone has chopped a bar or two out of the tune, but once used to it, you would never want it different. The bands attention was drawn to this music by Andrew Shaw, an expert on 17th and 18th century dances, whose booklet accompanying this CD is reviewed elsewhere in this issue. The CD regally bounces along for a full hour, and is relaxedly exhilarating throughout. If you play or like listening to dance music, this album is an object lesson. If you like the dancing, you will probably never have heard it played this well.


Dirty Linen

PL

Mr. Kynastons Famous Dance, Vol. 2: The She Favourite  

Amazing what two musicians can do with a collection of old dance tunes. Paul Hutchinson (accordion) and Paul Sartin (oboe and violin) put their stamp on selections from the Kynaston collection of English country dances. Many of the tunes, published in yearly editions in the first half of the 18th century, are attributed to Nathaniel Kynaston himself, though how many is debatable. The two Pauls have recorded these tunes for the purpose of dancing, i.e., at dance tempo and with the requisite number of repetitions. What this means is that if youre just sitting and listening, they sometimes go on a little long. Usually, however, they manage to keep the arrangements varied enough to stave off ennui. They have keen ears for counterpoint without sacrificing the necessary rhythmic lilt. While they dont have the lushness and sweep of Bare Necessities, they more than make up for it with their more intimate lightness and transparency.

Taplas

Boz Boswell

On this superb CD, the two Pauls (Hut....) lay on a generous feast of tunes

taken from some rarely heard early 18th century dance collections. All are

played to dance length and tempo, allowing the duo ample room to get their

teeth into them and bring out their full beauty with gusto. Their rich,

finely wrought arrangements sparkle with energy and passion, producing a big

warm irresistible sound.

Every track is a gem, but the highlights are Orange Nan, a gorgeous tune,

which I intend to set about learning as soon as I finish writing this

review, Whiskers, an intriguing little morsel played with a light, almost

playful touch, and Fops Fancy, a rather more involved three part 3/2

hornpipe with some delicious textures, employing some inspired overdubbing

of a third instrument.