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Daniel Taylor - Portrait

Release Date: 08/15/2000 
Label:  Atma Classique   Catalog #: 22228   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Johann Sebastian BachJohn DowlandHenry PurcellTraditional,   ... 
Performer:  Daniel TaylorAndreas MartinMargaret LittleSusie Napper,   ... 
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Voix HumainesEnsemble da Sonar
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 49 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Certain things are just made to go together, among them reedy instruments like viols and oboe d'amore and mid-range voices like countertenors. Here, on this compilation disc from the Atma label's recordings of Canadian countertenor Daniel Taylor, we get a rich yet only slightly varied sampling of repertoire along with a generous helping of what makes these vocal/instrumental combinations work so well. First is the voice, and Taylor is one among three or four of a new generation of countertenors whose sound makes it easy to forget the old-style hooty, harsh, and inconsistent quality exhibited by past practitioners of this nearly lost art. Warm, expressive, velvety smooth--this is the kind of voice you can listen to for a long time without Read more auditory fatigue, and indeed, Taylor's technique seems so effortless and natural that you believe he probably could sing for hours without a glimmer of wear or loss of energy. Occasionally, he shows a tendency to lag just slightly behind the beat--an indulgence often employed by singers for expressive effect, but one that if overused quickly becomes distracting, which Taylor only narrowly avoids in Dowland's lovely (appropriately named) song "Time stands still". This practice (habit?) also is in evidence in Bach's magnificent "Erbarme dich" from the St. Matthew Passion, and it makes the whole thing sound tentative. Fortunately, Taylor's sheer vocal beauty predominates in these moments--as everywhere else on the disc's nine tracks.

Another important element of the equation is the music, and Taylor's repertoire is nearly always perfectly suited to his voice--and it also happens to include some of the most beautiful songs ever written. In addition to the abovementioned Bach and Dowland are several more Dowland lute songs ("Flow my tears" is especially fine), Henry Purcell's delightful "Fairest Isle" (from King Arthur), and John Blow's moving Ode on the Death of Mr. Henry Purcell, "So ceas'd the rival crew". Among the highlights is the duet "There is no rose", performed with soprano Suzie Le Blanc. Sensitive, stylish, and tasteful viol playing, masterful accompaniment on lute (Andreas Martin) and theorbo (Sylvain Bergeron), and full-blossomed, detailed sound add up to a musically satisfying and entertaining recital.

--David Vernier
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Works on This Recording

Saint Matthew Passion, BWV 244: no 47, Erbarme dich by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Daniel Taylor (Countertenor)
Period: Baroque 
Written: ?1727; Leipzig, Germany 
Third and Last Booke of Songes or Aires: no 2, Time stands still by John Dowland
Performer:  Daniel Taylor (Countertenor), Andreas Martin (Lute)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Voix Humaines
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 1603; England 
Firste Booke of Songes or Ayres: no 17, Come againe, sweet love doth now envite by John Dowland
Performer:  Andreas Martin (Lute), Daniel Taylor (Countertenor)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Voix Humaines
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 1597; England 
Language: English 
Lachrimae or Seaven Teares: Lachrimae antiquae by John Dowland
Performer:  Margaret Little (Treble Vla da gamba), Susie Napper (Bass Viola da gamba), Daniel Taylor (Countertenor),
Andreas Martin (Lute)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Voix Humaines
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 1604; England 
Language: English 
Notes: Arranger: Susan Napper. 
Second Booke of Songes or Ayres: no 1, I saw my lady weepe by John Dowland
Performer:  Daniel Taylor (Countertenor), Andreas Martin (Lute)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Voix Humaines
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1600; England 
Language: English 
King Arthur, or The British Worthy, Z 628: Fairest Isle by Henry Purcell
Performer:  Susie Napper (Viola da gamba), Susie Napper (Cello), Margaret Little (Viola),
Daniel Taylor (Countertenor), Christine Moran (Violin), Chantal Rémillard (Violin),
Sylvain Bergeron (Theorbo), Sylvain Bergeron (Lute)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble da Sonar
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1691; England 
Language: English 
There is no rose by Traditional
Performer:  Suzie LeBlanc (Soprano), Daniel Taylor (Countertenor)
Written: England 
Easter Oratorio, BWV 249: Saget, saget mir geschwinde by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Daniel Taylor (Countertenor), Bruce Haynes (Oboe)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1732-1735; Leipzig, Germany 
Ode on the Death of Mr Henry Purcell by John Blow
Performer:  Sylvain Bergeron (Theorbo), Daniel Taylor (Countertenor)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble da Sonar
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1696; London, England 

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