Love Bade Me Welcome
As the suburban flagellants queue up for the vicarious thrills of those fifty shades of grey, herewith an antidote...
If you were to lure me into your apartment and were attempting to seduce me Renzo Cesana-style, you could do worse than have Love Bade Me Welcome — Songs and Poetry from the Renaissance [Amazon] playing in the background. (Or Easy Lovers from Piccioni's soundtrack to Camille 2000.)
It would do little to melt my icy reserve, but points for trying.
Love Bade Me Welcome is an album of English Renaissance music and poetry recorded by the Canadian ensemble Theatre of Early Music. The ensemble was founded by conductor and counter-tenor Daniel Taylor, who also sings on the album.
It's something of a curiosity, but a charming one at that. Look at some of the names involved: James Bowman, Ralph Fiennes, William Shakespeare, Walter Raleigh, John Dowland and George Herbert.
James Bowman provides additional counter-tenorism, Ralph Fiennes does the poetry recitation bit; Shakespeare, Raleigh and others provide quite exceptional words.
Let's pick a track for St Valentine's Day. How about Ralph reciting George Herbert's Love? described by Andrew Motion as one of the greatest lyric poems ever written.