This recording devoted to Dowland seems to open a door onto a secret garden, one tended and cultivated by two artists already well known for opera and song recitals that distill the chamber music principle into its most intimate essence of expressive sound: soprano Mariana Flores, and lutenist Hopkinson Smith. Here they give us a Dowland programme straight from the heart, drawing on five of the composer’s volumes of ‘Songs or Ayres’ printed in London between 1597 and 1612, laying bare Dowland’s ecstatic and tortured soul as it oscillates between all the different states of melancholy love.
The lute songs of John Dowland are among his most celebrated works. To convey the artistry ofRead more Dowland’s particular strain of melancholia, soprano Mariana Flores and lutenist Hopkinson Smith imbue their performances with an intimacy and introspection that makes them feel like chamber music of the most private nature. Naïve’s recording is close and focused, with unobtrusive acoustics and evenly balanced sound.