HumanitiesWeb.org - Semper Dolens - The Art of John Dowland [Recommended Recordings]
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Site last updated
26 June, 2013

John Dowland
Recommended Recordings



Complete Lute Works Vol 1-5
(Paul O'Dette)
Dowland did for lute music what Haydn did for the string quartet and Beethoven the piano sonata. The finest lutenist and songwriter of his age--he composed several of the greatest hits of the late 16th and early 17th centuries--the surviving lute works constitute a sort of encyclopedia of the possibilities of the instrument. There are song arrangements, dance pieces, tributes to the composer's friends, even a musical self-portrait. Much of the music is fashionably sad. Lute songs generally deal with the agony of lost love, and Dowland's most popular tune was called Lachrimae (Tears). Paul O'Dette is simply the best lutenist alive. These five discs are available together at a special price, or separately. A reference edition. (review by David Hurwitz)

In Darkness Let Me Dwell, etc
(Barry Guy, Maya Homburger, et al.)
Centuries before Lennon and McCartney, English Renaissance composer John Dowland was a master of song craft who penned the most popular tune of his time. His music, steeped in melancholy even deeper than was the fashion of the time, has inspired the Hilliard Ensemble's John Potter and colleagues to perform a visionary collaboration for In Darkness Let Me Dwell, a collection that imparts the power and profundity of Dowland's music. (review by Thomas May)

The English Orpheus
(Emma Kirkby, Anthony Rooley)


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