Notes & Reviews:
Royal Winter Music by Hans Werner Henze (1926 - 2012) and Nocturnal after John Dowland by Benjamin Britten (1913 - 1976) were both inspired by the culture of Elizabethan England in the late 16th and early 17th centuries; more precisely, by the plays of William Shakespeare (1564 - 1616) and the music of lutenist-composer John Dowland (1563 - 1626). Henze and Britten both drew on tradition, and they shared a special liking for vocal music. They both composed a lot for the voice, and the guitar works on this release are likewise very lyrical in places. Their idiom is neotonal, with moderate modernist nuances. The chief common dominator for the compositions was the English guitarist Julian Bream, who commissioned them both and to whom they are dedicated.