The idea of Fretwork Editions grew out of the need to produce performance material of unpublished music in the early days of the viol consort Fretwork, which was formed in 1985. We used computer music notation software, which was still in its infancy, but advances were rapid, and it soon became clear that there was an interest amongst the viol playing community for the material that Fretwork was producing, so that in 1989 the Fretwork imprint was created and has grown steadily ever since. After putting a toe in the water with our first couple of publications, we soon embarked on some complete editions that cover major areas of the English consort repertoire, featuring composers such as John Coprario, Thomas Lupo and William Lawes, as well as major collections of work by William Byrd, John Jenkins and several others. The editions are compiled by some of the leading experts in the field, with detailed critical material, but incorporating performing parts which give the fullest consideration to the practical needs of the player. The focus has been mostly on English composers for viols, but has expanded increasingly to include voices, in particular the great but still too little known repertoire of verse anthem, which had its flowering in the masterpieces of Gibbons and Tomkins. Here, our publications are suitable both for single voice performance and for choirs, for whom we operate a simple and economic digital licensing system, which enables us to provide wide flexibility in choice of keys, clefs and quantity. Please enquire for details.
The prefix FE denotes the main catalogue of music for viols.
FA denotes a series of transcriptions or arrangements, mostly with minimal critical material. Many of these are arrangements of keyboard pieces, for example by JS Bach, which we have found lend themselves particularly well to consort performance, and many featuring in Fretwork’s own CD recordings.
FCH denotes a series devoted to the Tudor choral repertoire, much of which works very well in instrumental performance, or alternatively combined with voices.
WM is a series of editions and arrangements made by David Skinner, which began with his reconstructions of hypothetical consort versions of Tudor service music.
Voicebox presents collections of songs by Purcell and his contemporaries, devised by Tim Roberts. Each set comprises a full score and a partbook for voice and bass.