The charming and ingenious Ground: - Mr Batholomew Isaak for 3 trebles and bass (Drexel 5061)was probably composed about 1677 and is contemporaneous with the similar and much better known 3 parts on a ground by Purcell, a likely co-chorister with Isaak at the chapel Royal during the 1670's. Though not of the quality of Purcell's masterpiece, it nevertheless bears comparison in its use of canonic devices and general layout - either or both compositions could have been devised in a spirit of friendly emulation at the time.
The piece was originally set for violins, bass viol and continuo and is here transcribed up the customary minor third to suit treble recorders. The 'school room' ground of 4 notes may be realised on any keyboard or plucked instrument and the bass divisions given to a bass viol or bass recorder as indicated in the edited score.
In performance the last two repetitions of the ground make an effective petite reprise, here included in the score and parts. if not required, bars 65-72 may be omitted.
Layton Ring May 1999.
*Renaissance Piece* for Three Treble Recorders and Continuo.
_Score 6 pp. 6 x parts 1 pp._