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A Tudor Christmas

Piva helps kick start Christmas with a lively show of music of the season, backed up with seasonal stories and fables.  Piva washes away the Victorian influence and plays carols and tunes in a style which would have been familiar to someone from the 16th century.


Old Christmas Return’d – Songs and Music from Shakespeare’s Time

An evening of Seasonal Music and Celebrations with PIVA



God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen


Hollis Berrie

Anon, c1590

The Winter is a Bitter Guest

Michael Praetorius, 1612

Personent Hodie

Anon, Piae Cantiones, 1582

Cast Care Away and the Spanish Pavane

Anon, Michael Praetorius, 1615

L’Arboscello Ballo Furlano

Giorgio Mainerio, 1578

Fine Knacks for Ladies

John Dowland, 1600

The Gloucestershire Wassail




Past Three O’Clock

Anon, mid 16thC

The Cradle/The New Yeares Gift

Anthony Holborne, 1599

Lully Lulla

Anon, 16thC

The Faerie Round

Anthony Holborne, 1599

Come Sirrah, Jack Ho!

Thomas Weelkes, 1608

The Little Barley Corn

Anon, late 16thC

Moresco Bergamasca

Giorgio Mainerio, 1578


Anon, Piae Cantiones, 1582

















“It is now December and he that walks the streets, shall find dirt on his shoes. Now capons and hens, beside turkeys, geese and ducks, besides beef and mutton, all must die for the great feast, for in twelve days, a multitude of people will not be fed with a little. Now plums and spice, sugar and honey, square it among pies and broth. I drink to you and you are welcome, I thank you and how do you? I pray you be merry. Music must now be in tune, or else never - and the youth must dance and sing and the aged sit by the fire.”

This was how the Elizabethan poet, Nicholas Breton, saw the month of December. He conjures up a picture of feasting, sweet treats, drinking, socialising and having a good time. In these respects, it’s reassuring that little has changed in the last 400 years! The Twelve Days of Christmas was the longest holiday in the Tudor calendar and Christmas was far more of a secular festival rather than a sacred one. Regardless, it was a season to be celebrated and Christmas was a time for fun, games, music and dancing – whether you were in the highest court of the land or the lowliest village dwelling. Today, we tend to think that our Christmas traditions were fashioned by the Victorians but, whilst they made them popular, the majority of them date back to the 16th century and earlier. Tonight, Piva aims to get your Christmas underway by playing a selection of songs, tunes and dances that would have been well known in the late 16th century.


Founded in 2002, ‘PIVA – the Renaissance Collective’ have firmly established themselves as one of this country’s leading early music ensembles. The group members are all multi-instrumentalists with backgrounds in renaissance, classical and roots music; Piva melds all these influences together to create music of the past played for today. Playing throughout the UK and Europe, they have gained a reputation for their lively performances and entertaining shows.

Eric Moulder is Piva’s founder and director of music. His passion for early music was inspired by the late David Munrow, amongst others. He has been an early woodwind player for many years and has performed with a number of ensembles. He is an internationally renowned maker and researcher in the field of historic woodwind instruments from the Renaissance period and his instruments are played by leading professional musicians and amateurs alike. He also provides many of the instruments played by Piva as well as being responsible for creating many of the group’s musical arrangements.

Kate Moran is a versatile musician who is equally at home with classical and folk music. Whilst training at Birmingham Conservatoire and Royal Northern College of Music she spent her weekends playing fiddle in barn dance bands in Northamptonshire! Kate currently plays violin and viola with Boldwood, who specialise in bringing to life rarely-heard tunes from 18th century English dance collections and leads Mouse’s Nest ceilidh band and can often be found guesting with bands both on stage and in the recording studio. Kate is also in demand as a teacher and is the conductor of Manchester Youth String Orchestra.

An Croenen Brutsaert originates from Flanders where she completed a history degree and studied classical singing at the Royal Conservatoire in Ghent. Eager to explore different musical styles, she went on to work with singers from around the world at the Théâtre du Lierre in Paris. An is currently a lecturer in singing at the University of Liverpool and runs a variety of singing workshops and groups. She has sung with a number of different bands and ensembles across many musical genres as well as having many solo performances under her belt.

Jane Moulder is the resident bookworm of the group and, alongside Eric, she researches and develops Piva’s repertoire and performance programmes. She is a freelance researcher and writer on music, dance and manners of the 14th to 18th centuries. Jane runs Piper’s Publishing which has produced a number of successful historical music books. She also works for the National Trust as a historical interpreter specialising in the Tudor period. She balances all of these roles with working alongside Eric making historical woodwind instruments.


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