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  • Greensleeves: A Collection of English Lute Songs
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Greensleeves: A Collection of English Lute Songs

6 customer reviews

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Audio CD, August 31, 1993
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$28.74 $1.50

Editorial Reviews

J. Baird, soprano - R. McFarlane, luth

1. It Was A Lover And His Lass
2. Author Of Light
3. Lute Solo: Watkin's Ale
4. So Beauty On The Waters Stood
5. When Laura Smiles
6. Lute Solo: Galliard
7. In Darkness Let Me Dwell
8. Lute Solo: Bonny Sweet Boy
9. Greensleeves
10. Wand' ring In This Place
11. Lute Solo: Packington's Pound
12. Shall I Come Sweet Love To Thee?
13. Sorrow Stay
14. Sweet Youth Go Bruise Thy Pillow
15. Lute Solo: Kemp's Jig
16. It Fell On A Summer's Day
17. Come Again
18. Lute Solo: Wilson's Wild
19. Awau With These Self Loving Lads
20. Mark How The Blushful Morn
See all 25 tracks on this disc

Product Details

  • Performer: Julianne Baird, Ronn McFarlane
  • Composer: Thomas Morley, Thomas Campion, Alfonso Ferrabosco, Philip Rosseter, Anthony Holborne, et al.
  • Audio CD (August 31, 1993)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Alliance
  • ASIN: B000001Q89
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #290,558 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By FrKurt Messick HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on September 26, 2005
Format: Audio CD
The lute is a string instrument with a fretted neck and a deep, round back. In many ways, it is related to later similar instructments such as the guitar and banjo. It descends from a Middle Eastern instrument similar to the oud. The lute was one of the major musical instruments of the Middle Ages, and much music was composed for the lute, both as a stand-alone instrument as well as an accompaniment for singers.

This disc has some samples of both. Some songs are anonymous compositions, often derivative of much older folk tunes. Others are original compositions whose composers are known by name. Among these names are John Dowland, Thomas Morley, Alfonso Ferrabosco, Michael Cavendish, Thomas Campion, Nicholas Lanier, and Anthony Holborne, all of the 1500s/1600s. The music here involves both the 8-course lute and the 10-course lute (during the later Baroque time, lutes could have as many as 28 strings!).

The lute was eventually displaced by keyboard and other instruments, so in many ways its life is that of the music of the past. However, with recordings such as these, the lute lives again in vibrant form. Ronn McFarlane learned to play on a cheap steel-string guitar, but continued to study in a rather eclectic fashion, eventually studying at the Shenandoah Conservatory and the Peabody Conservatory prior to settling upon the lute as his primary instrument. In this recording, he is paired with Julianne Baird, a soprano with significant recording experience.

McFarlane and Baird emphasise the simplicity and lightness of the songs here; while some lute music and some folk tunes can be very elaborately arranged, here the performers strive for a more direct elegance. The particular period emphasised is Elizabethean; McFarlane and Baird sound as if they have come directly from the Queen's court directly.

This is a beautiful recording.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Dylan Chernov on September 30, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Incredible! Stunning musicianship from beginning to end. For fans of Dowland, this recording is a gem. The blend of lute and voice on 'In darkness let me dwell' is downright haunting. This recording is an absolute pleasure. 5 stars just might be an understatement here...
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Laraine A. Barker on August 5, 2009
Format: Audio CD
Soprano Julianne Baird is well known in the US as a specialist in Early Music, but I'm ashamed to admit until this CD came my way I had never heard of her, though I had heard of Ronn McFarlane. If I'd been actively looking for the music represented here I would almost certainly have gone straight for Emma Kirkby. Judging from the singing on this CD, however, Julianne Baird deserves her popularity in America. From the moment she started on IT WAS A LOVER AND HIS LASS (which our school choir used to torment) I was won over. The programme is carefully chosen to avoid the melancholy songs swamping listeners, thus leaving their spirits down instead of uplifted. And to add to the variety seven lute solos are evenly interspersed among the songs. Baird and McFarlane are a perfectly matched duo in this recital and it's such a delight to listen to songs in English whose lyrics match the quality of the music that my only disappointment stems from the omission of two stanzas in IT WAS A LOVER AND HIS LASS. It seemed like a desecration to chop away half of Shakespeare's lyrics!
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