The London Waits was a band of professional musicians who performed for civic ceremonies and public festivities in London in the 16th and 17th centuries, and their lively music-making is re-created in this 2017 Avie release by The City Musick, conducted by William Lyons. The Waits were an instrumental consort consisting of shawms, dulcians, recorders, bagpipes, cornetts, and sackbuts, and also included plucked and bowed string instruments, and their rousing sonorities were among the most familiar sounds in the city. In addition to playing for official occasions, the Waits also performed in theaters, churches, markets, inns, and palaces, providing entertainment that all could appreciate as a part of daily life. The City Musick's program of Renaissance dance tunes and songs reflects the popular music of the time, and pieces by Anthony Holborne, John Dowland, Thomas Morley, Peter Philips, and other notable composers give a representative sampling of the dances, ballads, psalms, and processional music that the Waits dutifully provided.
AllMusic Review by Blair Sanderson