The Warleggan Village Band • Old Roger: The New Way (CD)
Old Roger: The New Way - English dance music from the 18th century
Warleggan Village Band was formed to play on screen for the BBC television series Poldark. Since the series was first broadcast, we recorded the CD Haste to the Dance, and have played for numerous dances including wildly successful annual weekends at Halsway Manor, the National Centre for Folk Arts, with Poldark's original dancing master Stuart Marsden. It was during one Halsway weekend that the idea for this recording was formed. The first music we knew we wanted to include were two gigues from Handel's Water Music, first performed in 1717. These had been choreographed by Stuart for Poldark. Matthew then set to work delving into publications held in the British Library to find English country dances from the same time.
Almost all of the tunes chosen for this recording appear in "The Dancing-Master: Vol. the Second or Directions for Dancing Country Dances with the Tunes to each Dance for the Treble-Violin. The Third Edition, containing 360 of the choicest Old and New Tunes now used at Court and other Publick Places. The whole Work Revised and done on the New-Ty'd-Note, and much more correct than any former. London: Printed by W. Pearson and sold by John Young, Musical-Instrument Maker, at the Dolphin and Crown at the West End of St. Paul's Church Yard, 1718". John Young was the successor to John and Henry Playford, whose long-running Dancing Master series began in 1651.
The tune that gives its name to the title of this recording is a version of Roger de Coverley. It was clearly a huge favourite at the time, with many versions including Old Roger of Coverlay for evermore, a Lancashire Hornpipe and Roger of Coverly the true Cheshire way appearing from the end of the 17th century. The tune was also mentioned in Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol and George Eliot’s Silas Marner and continues to be played and danced today. However, many others included here have been unjustly forgotten in the past 300 years, so we hope that you enjoy listening to us bring them back to life.
MATTHEW COATSWORTH violin, viola, English concertina
RICHARD HEACOCK violin, viola, cello
CHRIS GREEN guitar, mandocello, mandolin, Renaissance cittern, piano
BFTP017 • Released 2021