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Dowland: Complete Lute Works Box set, Import

4.5 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Box set, Import, November 11, 1997
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Editorial Reviews


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. --David Hurwitz

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. A Piece Without Title - Dowland
  2. Pavana - Dowland
  3. Mr Knights Galliard - Dowland
  4. My lord willobies wellcome home - Dowland
  5. The frogg galliard - Dowland
  6. A Fancy - Dowland
  7. My Ladie Riches galyerd - Dowland
  8. The Lady Laitons Almone - Dowland
  9. A Dream (Lady Leighton's Paven) - Dowland
  10. Galliard - Dowland
  11. Orlando sleepeth - Dowland
  12. What if a Day - Dowland
  13. Mrs Winters Jumpp - Dowland
  14. Galliard - Dowland
  15. M. Giles Hobies Galiard - Dowland
  16. Dr Cases Pauen - Dowland
  17. Mellancoly Galliard - Dowland
  18. Galliard - Dowland
  19. Mistris Whittes thinge - Dowland
  20. Go from my windowe - Dowland
  21. Almain - Dowland
  22. Mrs Whites Nothing - Dowland
  23. Pavan - Dowland
  24. Galliard - Dowland
  25. Farewell - Dowland

Disc: 2

  1. My lady hunnsdons puffe
  2. Solus cum sola
  3. Suzanna Galliard
  4. Sir John Smith his Almain
  5. Sweet Robyne
  6. Dowlands first galliard
  7. Master Pypers Pavyn
  8. Captain Digorie Piper his Galliard
  9. As I wen to Walsingham
  10. Monsieur's Almaine
  11. Mrs Brigide fleetwoods paven alias Solus sine sola
  12. Dowlands Galliard
  13. Farwell (As
  14. Captain Candishe his Galyard
  15. Aloe
  16. Can she excuse
  17. A Coye Joye
  18. Mrs vauxes Gigge
  19. Mrs vaux Galliarde
  20. Sir Henry Guilforde his Almaine
  21. Mignarda
  22. Lachrimae
  23. Sir John Souch his galliard
  24. Fantasia

Disc: 3

  1. The most high and mightie Christianus, the fourth King of Denmark, his Galliard
  2. Sir John Langton his Pavin
  3. Mr. Langtons galliard
  4. A Fancy
  5. A Pavan
  6. The most sacred Queene Elizabeth, her Galliard
  7. Mrs. Cliftons Allmaine
  8. The Right Honourable the Lady Cliftons Spirit
  9. tarletones riserrectione
  10. Tarletons Willy
  11. fortune my foe
  12. The Queenes galliard
  13. Wallsingham
  14. A Galliard (on Walsingham)
  15. Dowlands Adew for Master Oliver Cromwell
  16. The Right Honourable Ferdinando Earle of Darby, his Galliard
  17. Lord Strangs March
  18. Mistresse Nichols Almand
  19. forlone Hope fancye
  20. Mr. Dowlands Midnight
  21. Semper Dowland semper dolens

Disc: 4

  1. Preludium
  2. A Fancy
  3. Lachrimae
  4. Galliard to Lachrimae
  5. A Fantasia
  6. An Almand
  7. Pavana
  8. The Right Honourable Robert, Earl of Essex, his Galliard
  9. A Galliard (on a galliard by Daniel Bachelar)
  10. My Lord Wilobies Welcom Home
  11. The Shoemakers Wife. A Toy
  12. The Right Hounourable The Lord Viscount Lisle, his Galliard
  13. Coranto
  14. A Galliard
  15. The Lady Russells Paven
  16. Galliard (on Awake sweet love, set by Fr. Cutting)
  17. The Frog Galliard
  18. Come Away
  19. La mia Barbara
  20. Loth to Departe

Disc: 5

  1. A Fancy
  2. Pavana Dowlandi Angli (Mylius #2)
  3. Doulands rounde battell galyarde
  4. Pavin
  5. The Erle of Darbies Galiard
  6. Mistris Norrishis Delight
  7. A Jig
  8. The Erle of Essex Galliard
  9. Galliard
  10. Une Jeune Fillette
  11. Gagliarda
  12. Pavana Lachrimae
  13. Squires Galliard
  14. A Fancy
  15. Hasellwoods Galliard
  16. Sir Thomas Monson, his Pavin
  17. Sir Thomas Monson, his Galliard
  18. Almande
  19. Sir Henry Umptons Funerall
  20. Captayne Pipers Galliard
  21. A fantasie

Product Details

  • Performer: Paul O'Dette
  • Composer: John Dowland
  • Audio CD (November 11, 1997)
  • Number of Discs: 5
  • Format: Box set, Import
  • Note on Boxed Sets: During shipping, discs in boxed sets occasionally become dislodged without damage. Please examine and play these discs. If you are not completely satisfied, we'll refund or replace your purchase.
  • Label: Harmonia Mundi Fr.
  • ASIN: B0000007HU
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #312,317 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Shaw N. Gynan on March 17, 2000
Format: Audio CD
First, I should provide a disclaimer. I am only an amateur classical music buff, and a beginning classical guitarist, so I cannot provide the definitive critique of this five-disc set; however, I am unable to resist praising this work.
I was already familiar with and a fan of Dowland's music, but I hesitated getting this set, thinking that over five hours of music for the lute and the opharion (a metal-stringed instrument similar to the lute) would be overkill. Instead, I find myself wishing Dowland had lived another lifetime to provide us with even more of his tremendously varied and always exquisite music.
Paul Odette's playing is technically impeccable and unfailingly inspired by creativity. Dowland's manuscripts leave much to the imagination and intepretative genius of the player, and Odette combines faithful rendering with sparkling and virtuoso improvised ornamentation.
What is most important, naturally, is the result: 400 year old music that sounds remarkably contemporary, fresh. This is not to say that Dowland's music is modern, but rather that the composer captures universal qualities of human emotion and aesthetic sensibility. The many moods range from spritely, happy melodies to deeply contemplative and moving meditations. The careful engineering of this recording (typical of Harmonia Mundi releases) lends the performances a crystalline realism that fills the room with shimmering resonance.
This is music to gladden and soothe the soul in these complex and highly technological times, a gift from the past that will thrill and enlighten generations to come.
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Dowland was a genius, and when you have another genius of the lute (Paul O'Dette) playing his music, this music transcends all words that could possibly describe it.

My life is a better and richer one because I own these recordings and THAT is not an exaggeration. These lute works should be heard by every person at least once in their lifetime - they are that vital. In my opinion, they are as important as Bach's Cello Suites, although if I had to choose between these and the Cello Suites, I would choose the Dowland without hesitation.

Dim the lights, enjoy your favorite wine and become lost in a world that is richer and deeper than all of the money in the world could possibly buy. Thank you Mr. O'Dette for your incredible gift for our ears.
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This five-volume set of all John Dowland's lute music, including several pieces that may have been composed by others, is as close to perfect as any recording ever made.
Paul O'Dette is a leading Elizabethan music scholar. Faced with the task of creating his own editions for many of these works and selecting the proper edition for others, he has succeeded in using editions that are historically accurate and musically pleasing.
The same goes for his playing. Every phrase is exquisitely shaped, and fits perfectly into each piece. Dynamics, tone production, intonation, and phrasing are impeccable. All in all, O'Dette's playing is both authentic and, at the same time, vital.
I have been learning some of these pieces on classical guitar, and I learn something new about each of them every time I listen.
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Dowland's lute music is one of the great treasures of western music. These performances are both expressive and technically flawless. The sound quality is insanely good, and the fat booklet included is a great resource of information. This is indispensible to any music lover.
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The lute music of John Dowland has fascinated me since the 1960s, when I first heard it played by Julian Bream. Despite the subsequent revival of interest, it has taken a long time for anyone to record it complete; so it seems useful to survey the available offerings.


At present there seem to be four ways to get the (nominally) complete lute solos of John Dowland on CD:

• As part of the complete Collected Works by The Consort of Musicke et al.
• By Jakob Lindberg.
• By Paul O'Dette.
• By Nigel North.

But unfortunately, Dowland left no definitive editions of his own lute works, as he did for the songs; so that many parts of his legacy are scattered around the world in museums, or private collections. Some are unattributed, or attributed wrongly. Some copies were described by Dowland himself as "false and unperfect"¹.

The definitive guide at the time of its publication in 1974 was Diana Poulton & Basil Lam's The Collected Lute Music of John Dowland, revised in 1978. This contains 103 pieces (with some alternative versions).
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