Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|John Dowland, The Dowland Consort, Jakob Lindberg|
John Dowland: Lachrimę, Or Seven Teares
For us naturally melancholy types, 16th-century composer and virtuoso lute player John Dowland has to be something like a godfather. Among his numerous songs and works for lute and viol, the greatest pieces are deeply h... more »
For us naturally melancholy types, 16th-century composer and virtuoso lute player John Dowland has to be something like a godfather. Among his numerous songs and works for lute and viol, the greatest pieces are deeply heartfelt and imbued with tragic emotion. His ultimate bit of emotive tragedy-- an unqualified masterpiece--is his Lachrimae, or seaven teares, a series of "seven passionate pavans" written for an ensemble of five viols and lute. The music just pours out one beautiful line after another, layer upon layer of rich, warm sound. Forget all that weird, artificial new-agey stuff. You don't get any more meditative and soul-soothing than this. Jakob Lindberg's Dowland Consort performs as if they may have apprenticed with the master himself. --David Vernier
Rich, emotive music
Guy Cutting | 06/13/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have no familiarity with John Dowland outside this recording. I am probably not unique in this experience - even though Renaissance music is what I listen to most often, I've never managed to come across Dowland. I'm sure there are a number of reasons - one is that I listen mostly to sacred vocal music, but I think others include Dowland's small output and a bit of historical injustice done to him. Honestly, when this recording showed up in my Amazon.com recommendations list, I thought "What the...? LUTE music? What is that doing here?". Like I said I don't buy a lot of Renaissance instrumental music. The title and obvious dark emotion of the music drew me to try it though, and I'm glad of it. The "Seven Passionate Pavans" of the Lachrymae (seven because, as the liner notes tell us, that number had significance in that time for the reason that there were thought to be seven planets in the solar system) are accompanied by a number of other works for the same instruments (all published together, from what I gather). This music, written for lute and viols (treble, alto, tenor, small bass, consort bass, and great bass - all part of a set commissioned by members of the Dowland Consort) immediately shows itself to be a part of the Renaissance idiom; imitative polyphony dominates. The first four notes of the first pavane form the basis for the set; the theme appears in different parts in different forms. Dowland seems to lack nothing in ingenuity - a close listen will reveal all sorts of cleverness (canons between the parts, inversion, retrograde, etc). This leads to the layered quality that the Amazon.com review mentions - the music really is rich in that respect, and the Dowland Consort plays it with a fine sense of line which brings out the details. This music is quite beautiful - it displays the subtle yet intense emotion which characterizes good Renaissance music. These pieces are far from a Romantic approach - there is no superfluous feeling here. The galiards and almands which follow the Lachrymae are broad in their emotional character, but are equally enjoyable (two pieces stand out to me, Sir Henry Umpton's Funeral and Semeper Dowland Semper Dolens, probably because they are in the same spirit as the Lachrymae). The sound produced by these instruments is a distinct one, but is most enjoyable. It has its own color which befits the music. The playing (although I don't know much about the lute or viols) seems excellent. Pacing is good, not too fast. As I said the individual lines of the music are expressed very well. The balance of the group is good. All in all they really seem to capture the sense that Dowland put into these pieces. Gladly recommended..."
Dowland as it was meant to be
Paul Magnussen | Campbell, CA USA | 02/07/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Where do I start? In all my life I can't recall hearing a recording more magnificent than this.
Jakob Lindberg, who succeeded Diana Poulton as Professor of Lute at the Royal College of Music in 1979, formed the Dowland Consort from England's foremost Early Music specialists, specifically to play this kind of music. My first thought on hearing this album was that everyone else might as well give up; but let us not be immoderate.
The recording (completely digital) is crystal clear, perfectly balanced and focussed, with a perfect stereo image, so that every nuance of the counterpoint is captured. All the players are spot on pitch to the nearest cycle, displaying an interpretive eloquence and togetherness that must be heard to be believed. Despite the title, there are many moods here, from gentle melancholy to the joyous bounce of the Galliards.
Although the opening Lachrimæ pavans have, properly, been left as a group, the remaining compositions have been intelligently reordered, so that those of the same type do not all occur together.
If you have the smallest affection for Dowland, do not fail to buy this recording (well over an hour long)! And if you don't have a CD player, go and get one of those, too."