Notes and Editorial Reviews
Believe it or not, the “seven passionate Pavans” that open Dowland’s epochal Lachrimae collection of consort music do not constitute the gloomiest music in the series. That honor, especially in these intense performances, belongs to Sir Henry Umpton’s Funerall and Semper Dowland semper Dolens. The operative term here seems to be “passionate” in those famous opening numbers, because the music surges with great power and immediacy (relatively speaking) at tempos that aren’t at all slow compared to the competition. The excellent but very different Parley of Instruments (Hyperion), for example, transposes the music up a fourth so that it can be played on violins, and the difference is very striking. Not
worse, mind you, but different.
Most performances adopt a proprietary order for the music that comes after the Lachrimae Pavanes, and this recording’s lineup is singularly effective, with that very grave funeral piece succeeded by two of the most vigorous works (M. Bucton his Galiard and Mistresse Nichols Almand), then Semper Dowland semper Dolens followed by one of the brightest pieces in the bunch, timbrally speaking: M. Thomas Collier his Galiard with two trebles. The sonics are also probably the best this work has yet received, with Jakob Lindberg’s beautifully sonorous and liquid lute perfectly balanced against the strings, providing luminous rhythmic definition and harmonic support. There are at least four single-disc reference recordings of Lachrimae, but forced to choose I’d probably take this one as the version to get to know the music.
-- David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com Read less
Works on This Recording
Lachrimae or Seaven Teares by John Dowland
Written: 1604; England
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