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Dowland: Art Of Melancholy


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£15.10 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details In stock. Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

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Dowland: Art Of Melancholy + Your Tuneful Voice (Iestyn Davies) + Arise My Muse - Music for the Restoration (Iestyn Davies) Winner of the Recital Category, Gramophone Awards 2014
Price For All Three: £37.32

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Product details

  • Performer: Iestyn Davies, Thomas Dunford
  • Composer: John Dowland
  • Audio CD (31 Mar 2014)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Hyperion
  • ASIN: B001B42DJ0
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 51,342 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Sorrow, stay, lend true repentant tears [3'08]
2. Come again, sweet love doth now invite [4'16]
3. Go, crystal tears [3'19]
4. Mrs Winters Jump lute solo [0'48]
5. I saw my lady weep [5'43]
6. Flow, my tears, fall from your springs [4'45]
7. Can she excuse my wrongs? [2'23]
8. Behold a wonder here [3'04]
9. Semper Dowland semper dolens lute solo [7'02]
10. In darkness let me dwell [3'52]
11. Time stands still [4'05]
12. All ye whom Love or Fortune hath betrayed [4'29]
13. Say, Love, if ever thou didst find [2'01]
14. Lachrimae lute solo [5'37]
15. Come away, come sweet love [2'05]
16. Shall I strive with words to move? [2'01]
17. Burst forth, my tears [4'54]
18. Fortune my Foe lute solo [2'47]
19. Come, heavy Sleep [3'55]
20. Now, oh now I needs must part The Frog Galliard [6'19]

Product Description

Product Description

Of all English songwriters, John Dowland has enjoyed the most powerful afterlife, his voice unmistakably present in any version of his songs. The preeminent marriage of music and poetry, the nuanced shades of wit and melancholy and the extraordinary writing for both lute and voice all combine to proclaim Dowland as the father of English song.

Countertenor Iestyn Davies has gained international fame through his operatic performances (including lead roles at the Metropolitan Opera of New York and English National Opera) and recordings (including his Gramophone award winning recording of Arias for Guadagni on Hyperion CDA67924). Hearing him in this intimate musical setting is a revelationas is the playing of the young lutenist Thomas Dunford.

Review

Sophistication and refinement inform every note of Iestyn Davies and Thomas Dunford's recital, which moves from Jacobean blockbusters such as In darkness let me dwell to the complex poetry of Time stands still. This recording proves that the age of monochrome Dowland is over. Performance **** Recording **** --BBC Music Magazine, May'14

Davies's vocal technique is impressively secure,especially in the long-breathed, almost suspended phrases Dowland so loved . --IRR, July / Aug'14

Of all the things that could have emerged from last year's Dowland anniversary, perhaps for many the most devoutly to be wished would have been a song recital disc from the English countertenor of the moment. Well, here it is, with 16 songs gathered under the title The Art of Melancholy although, this being Dowland, that encompasses most of the old favourites, and as Roger Savage's excellent booklet-note makes clear, such is the subtle variety of music and words in Dowland's melancholy world that semper dolens does not have to mean semper in idem . The main strength of Iestyn Davies's singing lies in its straightforward lyrical beauty, certainly a sound fit for Dowland's classic melodic grace. When his songs are performed as purely musically as this, the battle is already half-won, and indeed Davies seems to see no need for overdeliberate interpretation. His diction is clear (impressively quick in Can she excuse? ) but his phrases are touched by naturalness and a rejection of the kind of interpretational point-making that, for instance, has led many others to introduce a tiny hiatus after the third note of Time stands still . Instead, Davies can reach the heart of the matter through leisurely lingering in Flow my tears , an aching swell on the penultimate note of the ever-superb In darkness let me dwell , a brief burst of ornamentation or a momentary flowering of vibrato when a phrase, note or vowel demands it. Melancholy, it seems, does not have to have downright angst waiting round the corner. Davies's accompanist is Thomas Dunford, a lutenist still in his twenties but already making people notice him with his strongly projected resonant tone, wide range of touch and dynamic, and effortlessly attentive musicianship. His five solos are a strong plus; Lachrimae and Fortune my foe are both seriously slow and free. This is Dowland to treasure. --Gramophone July'14

The range of colour afforded to the songs by Davies yields a recital which stimulates interest and thought over its full 76 minutes; a far cry from many more monochromatic recordings of the repertoire.**** --Early Music Today, June'14

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

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At the risk of sounding a discordant note amidst the general acclaim for this disc....

I heard Iestyn Davies's and Thomas Dunford's recital from York earlier in the year on Radio 3, and thought I'd enjoyed it. I heard the CD reviewed on BBC Radio 3, bought it alongside the new Paul O'Dette lute CD of his favourite Dowland, and Christoph Denoth's Mr Dowland's Midnight of Dowland on classical guitar. I have a large collection of Dowland's music, play some of it (on the guitar), and fell in love with it about 50 years ago.

I've now played this CD several times, and really don't like it at all. Above all because of Davies's delivery and diction. You simply can't hear the words. Well, some of them. If you don't believe me, sit down with pen and paper and try to write down everything you've just heard. You won't be able to. At best there will be a lot of gaps. Then try the same with the Dowland songs on the old Consort of Musicke discs with Anthony Rooley and co - you'll hear every word of the singers, including the counter-tenor. Do the same with Alfred Deller - likewise. I was fortunate enough to be sitting in the front row at this year's Aldeburgh Festival recital by (among others) Magid El-Bushra (counter tenor) and Ian Watt (lute), singing Dowland songs - again, every word crystal clear. The words are essential in Dowland. But too many of Davies's words disappear into a sort of vocal mush. It's just a sound, a vocal effect. This can be a side-effect of the counter-tenor voice - something happens from the throat upwards. In Handel, possibly not a problem. But the Dowland songs are also poems, you need to hear the words. They need the unforced simplicity of a Martyn Hill, an Emma Kirkby, a Glenda Simpson...Davies just doesn't cut it.

His lutenist accompanist is...OK. It does come as welcome relief from Davies's singing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ned D on 18 Jun 2014
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Heartbreakingly beautiful singing of some wonderful songs, with excellent lute accompaniment. Davies has now confirmed his position as the pre-eminent counter-tenor of our age.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Alec Synge on 15 July 2014
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Blues Music - Renaissance style. Singer and accompanist are brilliantly in synch. You'll feel cathartically better after a shot of this.
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