Jenkins, John: Thirty-two Airs. Two Treble Viols (or Violins), two Basses (Viols) and Organ
Set of String Parts.
Edited by Andrew Ashbee. The organ part is available in Musica Britannica Volume 26 (MB26).
In the output of the long-lived 17th-century composer John Jenkins, the 32 ‘Ayres’ for two trebles, two basses and organ have a special place. They were probably composed during the English Civil War, while the composer was in East Anglia, and his royalist patrons were subject to harassment by Parliamentarian forces. Though one of the pieces, ‘Newark Siege’, is a rare instance of programmatic music in Jenkins’s output, the pieces in general are far removed from the lightweight dance idioms of the time, being full of contrapuntal interplay inspired perhaps by the consort airs of the court composer William Lawes.
The four parts retain original note values, and correspond to the edition in Musica Britannica MB36, though the bass parts have alto clefs for the higher passages. The organ part, not included with the instrumental material, is played from full score in the parent volume.