© Benjamin Ealovega and Miriam Allan

This is an archived event

Elizabeth Kenny/Miriam Allan

The Field of the Cloth of Gold

Miriam Allan soprano Elizabeth Kenny lute

For 17 days in June 1520 the English and French courts came together on neutral ground near Calais, later dubbed the Field of the Cloth of Gold for the splendour of the fabrics used in costumes and decoration. Henry VIII’s and Francis I’s aim was to re-establish harmonious relationships between their two countries – to be achieved by days of banquets, jousting, and general pageantry.

Among the 5,000-strong English party were musicians. Led by William Cornysh, Master of the Children of the Chapel Royal, they were responsible not only for the music but also the masques and drama put on during the festivities. Jean Mouton – equally distinguished and Francis’s principal composer – was Cornysh’s equivalent on the French side.

No programme is available from 1520, but it would be surprising if a number of today’s pieces didn’t appear – including, of course, those of Henry VIII himself. Henry was a genuinely accomplished composer and all-round musician and it would defy belief to think that he’d have neglected an opportunity to demonstrate his artistic talent to his rival monarch.

Henry VIII: Pastime with good company; Helas Madame; And I were a mayden
Guillaume Morlaye: Pavane and Galliard
Guillaume de Machaut: Douce dame jolie; Amours me fait desirer; Rose, liz printemps
Philip van Wilder: Philip’s Dump
Jean Mouton: Adieu mes amours; Le souvenir de vous me tue
Albert de Rippe: Fantasia
Anon: Bonny sweet Boy      
William Cornysh: Ah, Robin; A dew, a dew; Blow thy horn, hunter
Henry VIII: The time of Youth; Greensleeves
Francis Cutting: Greensleeves 
Henry VIII: Green groweth the holly
Heinrich Isaac: Amy souffrez
Albert de Rippe: Fantasia
Claudin de Sermisy: Tant que vivray; Joyssance vous donneray
Henry VIII: Whereto should I expresse?
Anon: Where be ye, my love?
John Johnson: Pavan and Galliard “Delight”
Claudin de Sermisy: Au joly boys
Heinrich Isaac: O welt, ich muss dich lassen
Joan Ambrosio Dalza: Calata
Anon: Hey nonny nonny       

Programme notes can be downloaded here.   

Elizabeth Kenny is one of Europe’s leading lute players. Equally at home in solo, chamber music and the opera house, she combines a love of the lute repertoire with a flair for imaginative collaborations that enrich an unusually varied performing life.

 “A bronze Liz Kenny should be on the empty plinth in Trafalgar Square, in my opinion” Early Music Review

Click here to see Liz Kenny plays Canario by Giovanni Girolamo Kapsberger


Miriam Allan
’s ‘sublime singing’ (Gramophone) has been enjoyed across the world, from her native Australia, to Japan and Singapore, as well as at festivals throughout Europe and North America. Recent performance highlights have included Bach cantatas at the BBC Proms and a recital of Dowland lute songs within the enclaves of Windsor Castle. She was one of the four choristers who sang at Prince Philip’s funeral.

“the timbre is one of polished gold from the top to the bottom” Voix des Arts

Click here to see Miriam Allan sing 'I gave my Lord an Apple' by Andrew Anderson.


The concert is expected to last approximately 75 min.


Sun 10 Oct 2021 3.00pm

Little Missenden Church

£25, £18, £10