Launch of New CD by Vox Regis

Launch of New CD by Vox Regis

The latest CD on the University of Aberdeen's recording label, Vox Regis, was launched by Professor David Smith.

The latest recording on the University's Vox Regis record label was launched on 28 November 2017. It will raise money for research on ‘broken heart syndrome’, a condition where a person’s heart suffers physical symptoms similar to a heart attack as a result of intense emotional trauma.


Exiled: Music by Philips and Dering contains music by two exiled English Catholic composers, whose works appear in the scholarly series, Musica Britannica. Most of the pieces on the disc were edited by David J Smith, professor of music at the University of Aberdeen.


David introduced the composers and their music, as well as providing some insight into the process of editing. Prof John Bryan, from the University of Huddersfield, represented the Rose Consort, and spoke about the music from a performer's perspective. Dr Dana Dawson introduced the audience to her team's work on 'broken heart syndrome'.


The recording features consort music for viols performed by the internationally acclaimed Rose Consort, which is joined by our very own Choir of King's College, Aberdeen, directed by David who also plays harpsichord.


The inclusion of consort and keyboard versions of the Paget Pavan and Galliard draws attention to the likely dedicatee, the notorious double agent, Charles Paget, for whom Phillips undertook a spying mission in 1593 which resulted in his imprisonment at The Hague.


Another piece by Philips, the 1580 Pavan, was an international 'hit' of its day. It was widely arranged in a manner not dissimilar to that in which popular artists in covers of existing songs today, but as the original no longer exists, David reconstructed using the earliest surviving arrangements.


David is delighted to be able to bring his additions to life in performance. He comments: “This has been a fantastic project to work on as the music, and indeed the stories behind some music by Peter Philips and Richard Dering, is absolutely fascinating. It is exciting to hear the music I have edited over a period of seven or eight years performed so beautifully by The Rose Consort.


“It is also particularly exciting to see our student choir having the opportunity to perform with the Rose Consort, and I am extremely proud of what they have produced together."


‘Broken heart syndrome’, or Takotsubo cardiomyopathy, was once thought to be a temporary condition requiring no medical intervention. However, a research team led by Dr Dana Dawson has shown that there is long lasting damage to the heart muscle. The team is investigating the causes, effects and possible treatments for this potentially fatal condition.


Dr Dawson commented: “I am delighted that our colleagues in music have chosen to offer their support to our research by fundraising with sales of Exiled: Music by Philips and Dering.


“As with all research, funding is absolutely crucial in order to allow us to keep studying and learning about Takotsubo syndrome. Recent studies have shown that this disease is not as rare as we thought, so finding out the effect that it has on sufferers’ hearts is increasingly important."