King Henry VIII (1491–1547)

Gustav HolstHandsome, gifted and recently married to Catherine of Aragon, King Henry VIII was the envy of Europe when he penned these 35 royal compositions in the early years of his long and turbulent reign. Truly a Renaissance prince, he was also a gifted composer who excelled in portraying the pleasures of courtly life through words and music. His daughter, Elizabeth, inherited his gifts, and was a keen dancer and an excellent performer on the virginals.

Pastime with good company is the most famous of all the King’s songs included in this collection. The picture that emerges is of a carefree yet thoughtful man, by no means the cantankerous despot of legend he was later to become.