Fancy on "Adam Catched Eve"
catch is likely from a later period than the Restoration in England as those which I
have drawn in the last days from the The Catch Club or Merry Companions,
for it is not
included in the volumes of that publication. Some have attributed it to
Joseph Baildon (1722-1774) a London composer, organist, and singer working
during the life of Handel, though it may have been reworked by him. One
source noted Ten catches and four glees by Baildon were published by
this "lay vicar of Westminster Abbey by 1762, appointed organist of St.
Luke, Old Street, and All Saints, Fulham, in London." Another family member,
Thomas Baildon (d. 1760), was also was composer and singer, and associated
with Westminster Abbey. Joseph Baildon received one of the first prizes
given by a well-known Catch Club in 1763, and in 1766 he won another for a
glee, such was the popularity in that era for catches.
The text for this round
"ǀǀ: Adam catched Eve by the furbelow,
[ 1 ] :ǀǀ /
ǀǀ: And that's the oldest catch I know. :ǀǀ ? ǀǀ: Oh ho! Did he so? Did he
so? Did he so? :ǀǀ"
introduction stating the key and tonality but oddly in 5/4 meter leads to
the catch's first statement as at measure seven, partially decorated with
and upper voice. Thereafter, left hand and pedal also take up the theme with
short episodes of a lightly contrasting texture.
The entire work is here,
an MP3 file [ circa 2' 30" ]
The score for Fancy on a Catch of Henry Aldrich is available as a
free PDF download, though any major commercial performance or recording of
the work is prohibited without prior arrangement with the composer. Click on
the graphic below for this organ score.
"Adam Catched Eve"
[ 1 ] A furbelow is properly defined as a pleated or gathered piece of material,
particularly a flounce on women's clothing, being showy or superfluous.
The term is attributed as from a French dialect, farbella. Of course,
the text is meant to be heard as a double-entendre, while the verb "catch"
also might refer to a two-part song as the word, furbelow, marks the entry
of the second repetition of the round theme.
As with so many of these period
catches, some of which celebrate smoking, drinking and all around carousing,
one can imagine the various doctors, theologians like Aldrich to "Doctors of Musick" as were Purcell and Blow, cheered by such innuendos coupled with a
lively tune. Among the earliest publications, Playford's A Musical
Companion in two books, the first book containing Catches and Rounds for
three voices, the second book containing Dialogues Glees, Ayres, and Songs
for two, three, and four voices, were collected and published in London,
in 1672-3, when Henry Purcell was perhaps thirteen years old. This was "the
latest thing" in that era, a specifically English form of entertainment in a
time when professional musicians were most usually in the employ of church
and crown. Decades later, the form was still popular contemporary with the
high Baroque, the last years of Handel's life and beyond.