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Seaven Teares Import

5.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Import, April 9, 2002
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Product Details

  • Orchestra: King's Noyse
  • Composer: John Dowland
  • Audio CD (April 9, 2002)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Harmonia Mundi Fr.
  • ASIN: B000063T8M
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #339,930 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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By Robert E. Murena Jr. on September 14, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Prefering classical music that is this side of brooding but not miserable I find the Lacrimae cycle (seven teares) to be among John Dowland's greatest and certainly among the best early music available. The consort contains great harmonies self reference and a masterful working of false resolutions and constant dissonance that makes listening a compelling experience. Each one of the Lacrimae pavans flows beautifully into the next although they can be played seperately as well. The timbre of the music is brooding but is not melancholly and actually is more uplifting than one might think. Interestingly the pavan was actually a dance form that was either at its height or decline at the time Dowland was composing. The dance is supposed to be one of sadness which to us might sound strange or even morbid but to the early modern mind music and dance was a part of everything from the sacred to the secular and did not always mean an expression of joy. As an aside I totally agree with this idea and turning on the radio and hearing songs that only seem to revolve around the joy of new love we could use a little of this diversity. The pavan deid out by the time of the baroque era and Dowland's music pull together elements from the pavan with "proto-baroque" elements making a very complex sound. Altogether this is among the most complex early music making other favorites like David Schutz and even William Lawes seem rather ordinary.

the Kings Noyse were kind enough to jam-pack this cd with 15 additional tracks from Dowland's first and second songbooks making this a sort of "best of" album that runs for 75 minutes.
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Format: Audio CD
I've been searching for many years for a nice recording of Dowland's lachrimae. The top recommendation both at the Gramophone and Penguin guides was a recording by Fretwork, but unfortunately I was unable to find it at local stores.
However, I recently discovered this recording and have been enjoying it ever since I bought it! "The King's Noyse" playing is superb, and one really nice thing about this version is that it includes (and combines among the rest of the music) some songs from Dowland's first and second book of songs, ("I saw my lady weep" and "Sorrow stay" among them), sung beautifully by a soprano (Ellen Hargis).
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Format: Audio CD
This is a very good collection of some of Dowland's best consort music and songs. Dowland's characteristic melancholy is in evidence, of course, but it never drags or becomes oppressive and the delight and beauty of this lovely music shines out from this disc.

The King's Noyse are a really fine ensemble in this repertoire, especially when joined by the great Paul O'Dette on the lute. They have exactly the right degree of seriousness combined with a lightness of touch which makes the dances really dance and the laments mournful without being dismal. They are a very talented group of players who have a great musical rapport and take real delight in the music.

My one mild reservation about this disc is in the songs. They were written for countertenor (or castrato) but modern sopranos like Emma Kirkby have made excellent recordings, too. On this disc Ellen Hargis sings very beautifully, but is slightly too much like a modern operatic soprano for my taste in this repertoire. Kirkby's light, vibrato-free virtuosity really suits these songs, whereas Hargis gives her voice rather more weight and force and while she doesn't overdo the vibrato, it is there and, to my ear, not quite appropriate. However, this is largely a matter of personal taste and I don't want to be too critical - it is beautiful singing of its kind and may suit other ears better than mine. I'd certainly still give the disc five stars; I listen to it often and with great pleasure and recommend it very warmly.
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