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Dowland: Lachrimae or Seaven Teares, 1604 / Hesperion XX, Savall

Conductor Ensemble

Notes & Reviews:

Published in 1604, Dowland's Lachrimae was composed for an ensemble of five viols and a lute. The collection contains seven Pavans based on the air Flow My Tears (which explains the work's subtitle, Seaven Teares Figured in Seaven Passionate Pavans). These variations are alternated with Galiards and Almands for contrast. Jordi Savall's 1987 recording with Hespèrion XX is still a cornerstone of any Dowland discography. This critically acclaimed album is now available for the first time in a vivid multichannel remastering.

The Observer, 1st December 2013
The players revel in the cult of melancholy with which Dowland, the "English Orpheus" of the Elizabethan age, is so deeply associated...Full of grief-laden dissonance, the music hardly raises a smile but the brilliance of HespFrion XX's playing brings cheer.

Early Music Review, December 2013
The publication is performed complete and is wonderful listening, with expressive playing and superbly vibrant, rich sound. The balance of the inner parts and the lute is very satisfying, and the superlative music itself is endlessly enthralling.

MusicWeb International, 21st February 2014
The sequence is performed with meticulous attention to Dowland's instructions...There are plenty of alternative recordings but, given its excellent sound and its very reasonable price, this is irresistible.

American Record Guide, May/June 2014
If you are looking to pick up Dowland's famous Lacrimae, this is just about as good as it's going to get: Jordi Savall et al. would certainly be among the top three or four performers that would come to my mind if I were looking for this. The entire collection of 21 pieces, which Dowland wrote for a whole consort of viols, is presented here. Top notch release in every way: direction, performance, sound, notes.


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