In 1617, James VI of Scotland (I of England) made what was to be his first and last visit to his homeland, as part of an affair now known as the Scottish Progress. In a letter to the Scottish Privy Council, he described how he felt ‘a salmonlyke instinct…a great and naturall longing to see our native soyle and place of our birth and breeding.’
With the resident musical institution at Holyrood having fallen into hard times, James imported both an organ and the singers from the Chapel Royal in London, whose journey north via ship was vividly documented. The occasion resulted in two fascinating pieces by Orlando Gibbons, chief organist of the Chapel and one of England’s foremost composers.
In collaboration with Phantasm, one of the world’s leading viol consorts, we commemorate the 400th anniversary of this extraordinary historical episode.