Next month we will embark on the extraordinary Peerson Project, performing and recording the ‘Grave Chamber Musique’ by Martin Peerson. I Fagiolini will provide the five voices and we will be the five viols, and James Johnson will play the organ.
The Peerson Project centres on the songbook “Mottects: or Grave Chamber Musique” published in 1630. 25 of the Caelica poems by the Elizabethan courtier-poet Fulke Greville were set to music for voices and viols by Martin Peerson, a respected composer and Master of the Choristers at St Paul’s Cathedral (London) for 25 years.
This virtually unknown songbook – apparently a collaboration between poet and composer – is significant both historically and musically. It offers a new and rich source for researchers into domestic music of the Jacobean era.
The recent edition by Prof Richard Rastall has begun the process that enables both amateurs and professionals to experience Peerson’s music in workshops and performances.
The Peerson Project aims to heighten interest and widen participation in Peerson’s music through a series of different events beginning 19th February 2016. For brief details of the events, goto
Peerson was a wonderful composer and a few years ago we recorded his complete consort music. You can find a couple of tracks here on our jukebox: