Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Robin Blaze, Elizabeth Kenny|
English Lute Songs
Genres: Dance & Electronic, Special Interest, Pop, Classical
A voice teacher and early music fan
George Peabody | Planet Earth | 03/10/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"PRETTY, PLEASANT, PLEASING(IF THATS WHAT YOU DESIRE);
BUT IT REALLY DOESN'T SET MY HEART 'AFIRE'!
The combining of music and poetry in the courts of seventeenth century England was partly the result of artistic movement that grew out of a need for entertainment of the wealthy. This style of theatrical art gave birth to the 'ayre', a genre characterized by pairing the voice and the English lute. Often dramatic and melancholy in mood, these lute pieces were presumably the Elizabethan equivalent of today's modern 'soap operas'.
Hyperion has done a superior job in packaging thirty such songs built entirely on the perspecuity of the voice and lute. All pieces are performed by Robin Blaze (countertenor) and Elizabeth Kenny (lutenist), and include a comprehensive range of works by such noted composers as Robert Jones, John Dowland and Henry Purcell.
There are in all six lute solos: 'Fantasia' Johnson-'Rosa' Danyel- 'Riggadon','Lilliburlero', 'Song Tune' and 'Sefauchi's Farewell' all by Purcell. Some of the outstanding and more familiar countertenor solos are: 'Fair, if you expect admiring' Campion-'In Darknesslet me dwell'Dowland-'Full Fathom Five'Bannister and one by Johnson-'Tis Nature's Voice' Purcell-and a perfectly delightful song by Matthew Locke 'The Delights of the bottle'. And many more that may be known to some.
There is no doubt that this is an excellent collection of these songs performed well, especially by Elizabeth Kenny. As for Robin Blaze, he possesses competence in tone quality, diction, flexibility, but (in my opinion) has very little emotional variety. If I want to hear lute songs sung with much emotional investment DIRECTLY related to the subject matter, I'll look for David Daniels, Michael Chance or Lawrence Zazzo, for they emote and emote and emote!!!!
Elizabeth Kenny in her comments about this recording (included in the disc packageing) and the selections states that "It might be in questionable taste to place a castrato's farewell towards the end of a recital....However, the 'incomparable softnesse and sweetness' described by Evelyn when he heard Siface in London in 1687, inspired Purcell to write a lovely 'Farewell for keyboard'. Thus the selection on this disc: 'Sefauchi's Farewell'."