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Dowland: Lute Songs; Britten / Padmore, Kenny, Ogden

Album Summary

>Dowland, John [Composer] : Unquiet thoughts, for 4 voices & lute (First Book of Songs)
>Dowland, John [Composer] : Say, Love if ever thou didst find, for 4 voices & lute (Third Book of Songs)
>Dowland, John [Composer] : Sorrow, stay, lend true repentant tears, for 2 voices & lute (Second Book of Songs)
>Dowland, John [Composer] : Away with these self-loving lads, for 4 voices & lute (First Book of Songs)
>Dowland, John [Composer] : Fantasia, for lute (from "A Varietie of Lute-lessons")
>Dowland, John [Composer] : Come again, sweet love doth now invite, for 4 voices & lute (First Book of Songs)
>Dowland, John [Composer] : Sleep wayward thoughts, for 4 voices & lute (First Book of Songs)
>Dowland, John [Composer] : Come, heavy sleep, for 4 voices & lute (First Book of Songs)
>Britten, Benjamin : Nocturnal after John Dowland, for guitar, Op. 70
>Dowland, John [Composer] : Flow, my tears, fall from your springs, for 2 voices & lute (Second Book of Songs)
>Dowland, John [Composer] : I must complain, yet do enjoy my love, for 4 voices & lute (Third Book of Songs)
>Dowland, John [Composer] : If my complaints could passions move, for 4 voices & lute (First Book of Songs)
>Dowland, John [Composer] : Captain Digorie Piper's Galliard, for lute, P 19
>Dowland, John [Composer] : What if I never speed?, for 4 voices & lute (Third Book of Songs)
>Dowland, John [Composer] : To ask for all thy love, for 4 voices & lute (A Pilgrimes Solace)
>Dowland, John [Composer] : Now, O now I needs must part, for 4 voices & lute (First Book of Songs)
>Dowland, John [Composer] : In darkness let me dwell, for voice, lute & bass viol (A Musicall Banquet)
Performers Composers

Notes & Reviews:

Mark Padmore is widely acknowledged as one of the greatest tenors performing today, celebrated for his work on the operatic stage, in recital, and in the recording studio. He is admired - among other things - for his "extraordinary diction and whispering chamber-like intimacy [and his] joy in conveying the emotional core of each situation" (Gramophone). It is these facets of his performance - together with the exquisite musicianship of lutenist Elizabeth Kenny - that make this Dowland collection such a delight: the miniature world of each song is sensitively explored and beautifully expressed. Benjamin Britten wrote his 'Nocturnal after John Dowland' in 1963 for Julian Bream. An extended exploration of the tensions and nightmares evoked by the song "Come, heavy Sleep," here it receives a darkly luminous performance by guitarist Craig Ogdon.

'The lyrical tone, immaculate diction and musicianship of Britain's finest tenor ... He makes the strongest possible case for regarding Dowland as the father of English song with his expressive, deeply-felt accounts of some of the best-known numbers ... Kenny's authoritative booklet notes puts the songs into a fascinating historical context' (Sunday Times)

'This fascinating release does more than raise the standard of Dowland interpretation yet another notch: it also helps to contextualise the composer in relation to both his own time and ours ... Mark Padmore again shows why he is one of today's finest tenors. The quicker songs, like "Away with these self-loving lads", gain in clarity from a semi-declamatory approach, while the slower are eerily viol-like. The interpretations are restrained yet intense. Elizabeth Kenny's lute caresses the vocal line, embellishments, colour changes and rhythmic pointing never retarding the flow' (Gramophone)

'The opening Unquiet Thoughts introduces the clarity and lightness, as well as the dynamic chading and delicate ornamentation on repeated phrases which are a feature of all that follows ... Engagingly written booklet notes by Kenny and a fine recorded sound provide just two more reasons to recommed this as one of the best Dowland recitals on disc to come our way in a long time' (International Record Review)

'... 'Flow My Tears' is beautifully inflected, though finer still is 'In Darkness let me Dwell', where in the final bars Padmore's enrapt engagement seems to conjure up the very chill of death ... With Elizabeth Kenny's insightful support, there is an involvement which even surpasses Paul Agnew's superb Dowland recordings of a decade ago' (BBC Music Magazine)

'Padmore is wonderfully expressive in Flow my teares, which he embellishes fluently. Britten's dreamy guitar solo Nocturnal after John Dowland is sandwiched between the songs and exquisitely played by Craig Ogden' (Classic FM Magazine)

'A simply brilliant disc. I can't praise it enough. A bronze Liz Kenny should be on the empty plinth in Trafalgar Square, in my opinion' (Early Music News)

'Since Emma Kirkby's first recording in the late-1970s, we have known what to expect from Dowland's lute songs. Some fine discs have followed, but not until Mark Padmore and Elizabeth Kenny's new release has there been one as radical in its potential impact on our understanding of the music. With tonal purity intact, voice and lute add subtle decoration, rhythmic fluidity, drama and rich poetic sensibility to these songs, using Craig Ogden's expressive performance of Britten's 'Nocturnal' as their foil. Odd to hail "Come again" as the highlight, but the vivid reading of this ostensibly simple song is a revelation' (Independent on Sunday)

'A good singer of lute-song repertoire needs refined poetic understanding, a clear voice ... and an especially supple and easy top range. A real master also has the ability to bring special insight to those songs that often seem simple or repetitive. On an even higher level is Mark Padmore, who does all this with a winning spontaneity that makes even Dowland chestnuts sound fresh and true ... He has a lovely way of sculpting a phrase ... His voice can dip and soar with astonishing beauty and drama' (Opera News)

'Having displayed Handelian virtuosity in his highly acclaimed solo release of last year, Padmore brings a more focused drama to his performance here. Kenny's sparse and precise accompaniment allows him to explore his voice as an instrument, sometimes mellow and resonant, sometimes cleaner, reedier, but never resorting to the sort of hollow breathiness that can taint exposed recital work. There is a great control of expression and Padmore's sensitive ornamentation makes the music his own - according to the project's theme - without garish disfigurement. The simple cover slip provides lyrics and detailed notes by Kenny, though Padmore's immaculate diction renders the former almost superfluous' (MusicOMH.com)

'Padmore sounds genial, worldly, relaxed. He can be touchingly tender at times: he has an affecting vibrato, which he uses effectively... His voice is full, his enunciation clear' (Fanfare, USA)

'...exquisite diction, studied and pure pronunciation, warm and burnished vocal tone, endless breath support. The incredibly long note at the end of Sorrow, stay! will take your breath away, although Padmore sounds like he had some left over. Elizabeth Kenny, a distinguished lutenist is a sensitive partner, allowing Padmore to anchor the ends of phrases, add rhythmic touches to important words, and treat repeated phrases with an eye toward variation....The warm sound, captured in London's All Saints Church, renders the fragility of the genre, music that is meant to be heard from as close as possible, without introducing too much distracting detail' (IONARTS.com)



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Works Details

>Dowland, John [Composer] : Unquiet thoughts, for 4 voices & lute (First Book of Songs)
  • Performers: Elizabeth Kenny (Lute); Mark Padmore
  • Notes: All Saints Church, East Finchley, London, England (02/05/2007-02/07/2007)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 52 sec.
  • Period Time: Renaissance
  • Written: 1597

>Dowland, John [Composer] : Say, Love if ever thou didst find, for 4 voices & lute (Third Book of Songs)
  • Performers: Elizabeth Kenny (Lute); Mark Padmore
  • Notes: All Saints Church, East Finchley, London, England (02/05/2007-02/07/2007)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 57 sec.
  • Period Time: Renaissance
  • Written: by 1603

>Dowland, John [Composer] : Sorrow, stay, lend true repentant tears, for 2 voices & lute (Second Book of Songs)
  • Performers: Elizabeth Kenny (Lute); Mark Padmore
  • Notes: All Saints Church, East Finchley, London, England (02/05/2007-02/07/2007)
  • Running Time: 4 min. 9 sec.
  • Period Time: Renaissance
  • Written: by 1600

>Dowland, John [Composer] : Away with these self-loving lads, for 4 voices & lute (First Book of Songs)
  • Performers: Elizabeth Kenny (Lute); Mark Padmore
  • Notes: All Saints Church, East Finchley, London, England (02/05/2007-02/07/2007)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 39 sec.
  • Period Time: Renaissance
  • Written: 1597

>Dowland, John [Composer] : Fantasia, for lute (from "A Varietie of Lute-lessons")
  • Performer: Elizabeth Kenny (Lute)
  • Notes: All Saints Church, East Finchley, London, England (02/05/2007-02/07/2007)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 47 sec.
  • Period Time: Renaissance
  • Written: 1612

>Dowland, John [Composer] : Come again, sweet love doth now invite, for 4 voices & lute (First Book of Songs)
  • Performers: Elizabeth Kenny (Lute); Mark Padmore
  • Notes: All Saints Church, East Finchley, London, England (02/05/2007-02/07/2007)
  • Running Time: 5 min. sec.
  • Period Time: Renaissance
  • Written: 1597

>Dowland, John [Composer] : Sleep wayward thoughts, for 4 voices & lute (First Book of Songs)
  • Performer: Elizabeth Kenny (Lute)
  • Notes: All Saints Church, East Finchley, London, England (02/05/2007-02/07/2007)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 24 sec.
  • Period Time: Renaissance
  • Written: 1597

>Dowland, John [Composer] : Come, heavy sleep, for 4 voices & lute (First Book of Songs)
  • Performers: Elizabeth Kenny (Lute); Mark Padmore
  • Notes: All Saints Church, East Finchley, London, England (02/05/2007-02/07/2007)
  • Running Time: 4 min. 36 sec.
  • Period Time: Renaissance
  • Written: by 1597

>Britten, Benjamin : Nocturnal after John Dowland, for guitar, Op. 70
  • Performer: Craig Ogden (Guitar)
  • Notes: All Saints Church, East Finchley, London, England (02/05/2007-02/07/2007)
  • Running Time: 16 min. 29 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1963

>Dowland, John [Composer] : Flow, my tears, fall from your springs, for 2 voices & lute (Second Book of Songs)
  • Performers: Elizabeth Kenny (Lute); Mark Padmore
  • Notes: All Saints Church, East Finchley, London, England (02/05/2007-02/07/2007)
  • Running Time: 4 min. 32 sec.
  • Period Time: Renaissance
  • Written: by 1600

>Dowland, John [Composer] : I must complain, yet do enjoy my love, for 4 voices & lute (Third Book of Songs)
  • Performers: Elizabeth Kenny (Lute); Mark Padmore
  • Notes: All Saints Church, East Finchley, London, England (02/05/2007-02/07/2007)
  • Running Time: 4 min. 54 sec.
  • Period Time: Renaissance
  • Written: 1603

>Dowland, John [Composer] : If my complaints could passions move, for 4 voices & lute (First Book of Songs)
  • Performers: Elizabeth Kenny (Lute); Mark Padmore
  • Notes: All Saints Church, East Finchley, London, England (02/05/2007-02/07/2007)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 3 sec.
  • Period Time: Renaissance
  • Written: 1597

>Dowland, John [Composer] : Captain Digorie Piper's Galliard, for lute, P 19
  • Performer: Elizabeth Kenny (Lute)
  • Notes: All Saints Church, East Finchley, London, England (02/05/2007-02/07/2007)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 45 sec.
  • Period Time: Renaissance

>Dowland, John [Composer] : What if I never speed?, for 4 voices & lute (Third Book of Songs)
  • Performers: Elizabeth Kenny (Lute); Mark Padmore
  • Notes: All Saints Church, East Finchley, London, England (02/05/2007-02/07/2007)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 25 sec.
  • Period Time: Renaissance
  • Written: by 1603

>Dowland, John [Composer] : To ask for all thy love, for 4 voices & lute (A Pilgrimes Solace)
  • Performers: Elizabeth Kenny (Lute); Mark Padmore
  • Notes: All Saints Church, East Finchley, London, England (02/05/2007-02/07/2007)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 28 sec.
  • Period Time: Renaissance
  • Written: 1612

>Dowland, John [Composer] : Now, O now I needs must part, for 4 voices & lute (First Book of Songs)
  • Performers: Elizabeth Kenny (Lute); Mark Padmore
  • Notes: All Saints Church, East Finchley, London, England (02/05/2007-02/07/2007)
  • Running Time: 6 min. 16 sec.
  • Period Time: Renaissance
  • Written: by 1597

>Dowland, John [Composer] : In darkness let me dwell, for voice, lute & bass viol (A Musicall Banquet)
  • Performers: Elizabeth Kenny (Lute); Mark Padmore
  • Notes: All Saints Church, East Finchley, London, England (02/05/2007-02/07/2007)
  • Running Time: 4 min. 31 sec.
  • Period Time: Renaissance
  • Written: 1610