Author Topic: Down with Dowland  (Read 5082 times)

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Offline TheGSMoeller

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Down with Dowland
« on: May 20, 2014, 04:54:45 PM »
Is there really no dedicated thread?  :o Well, here's one if not...


John Dowland, (born 1562/63, Westminster, London, England—died January 21, 1626, London)



Probably Dowland's most famous work came from Lachrimae, or Seaven Teares, the opening Lachrimæ Antiquae (Old tears) which was already written for solo lute and a song known as Flow My Tears. Here are three versions, Fretwork, countertenor Andreas Scholl performing the song and finally lutist Paul O'dette performing the solo lute verison.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/90gojyNziBg" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/90gojyNziBg</a> <a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/f7vLOjzG4no" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/f7vLOjzG4no</a> <a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/PnNLfnVovHs" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/PnNLfnVovHs</a>

Artist Biography by James Reel

Melancholy was all the rage in Elizabethan England, and John Dowland was the most stylish composer of his time. "Semper Dowland, semper dolens" was his motto, and much of his music is indeed exquisitely dolorous. Although he was a talented singer, Dowland mainly followed a dual career as a composer and lutenist. He was the period's most renowned and significant composer of lute solos, and especially ayres (also called lute songs), and a gifted writer of consort music.

Nothing is known of Dowland's youth; even his date and place of birth are uncertain. It is clear, though, that in 1580 he went to Paris in the service of the ambassador to the French court. Dowland converted to Catholicism during this time, and later claimed that this excluded him from employment at the Protestant court of Elizabeth I in 1594 (actually, the court was cutting costs and left the position unfilled for five years). In 1598, Dowland became lutenist to Christian IV of Denmark, but he was dismissed for unsatisfactory conduct in 1606. Between 1609 and 1612 he entered the service of Theophilus, Lord Howard de Walden, and finally in 1612, he was appointed one of the "musicians for the lutes" to James I of England.

Dowland managed to respect tradition while absorbing the trends he encountered on the Continent. Dominating Dowland's output is a form called the lute song or ayre. It was peculiar to English music, and was systematized somewhat by the 1597 publication of Dowland's First Booke of Songes or Ayres. These early songs are simple strophic settings, often in dance forms, with an almost complete absence of chromaticism. Continental influences come to the fore in such later songs as In darkness let me dwell (1610) and Lasso vita mia (1612), full of declamation, chromaticism, and dissonance.

Dowland also wrote a significant amount of instrumental music, much of it for solo lute and some for consort. There are some ninety works for solo lute; many are dances, often with highly embellished variations. Even here the Continental influence shows; such chromatic fantasies as Forlorne Hope fancye and Farewell are far more intense than the lute music of any other English (or, for that matter, Continental) composer of the time. Among the consort works, Dowland's Lachrimae, or Seaven Teares Figured in Seaven Passionate Pavans (1604), became one of the most celebrated compositions of the late Renaissance.

Offline EigenUser

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Re: Down with Dowland
« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2014, 04:56:18 PM »
Is there really no dedicated thread?  :o Well, here's one if not...


John Dowland, (born 1562/63, Westminster, London, England—died January 21, 1626, London)



Probably Dowland's most famous work came from Lachrimae, or Seaven Teares, the opening Lachrimæ Antiquae (Old tears) which was already written for solo lute and a song known as Flow My Tears. Here are three versions, Fretwork, countertenor Andreas Scholl performing the song and finally lutist Paul O'dette performing the solo lute verison.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/90gojyNziBg" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/90gojyNziBg</a> <a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/f7vLOjzG4no" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/f7vLOjzG4no</a> <a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/PnNLfnVovHs" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/PnNLfnVovHs</a>

Artist Biography by James Reel

Melancholy was all the rage in Elizabethan England, and John Dowland was the most stylish composer of his time. "Semper Dowland, semper dolens" was his motto, and much of his music is indeed exquisitely dolorous. Although he was a talented singer, Dowland mainly followed a dual career as a composer and lutenist. He was the period's most renowned and significant composer of lute solos, and especially ayres (also called lute songs), and a gifted writer of consort music.

Nothing is known of Dowland's youth; even his date and place of birth are uncertain. It is clear, though, that in 1580 he went to Paris in the service of the ambassador to the French court. Dowland converted to Catholicism during this time, and later claimed that this excluded him from employment at the Protestant court of Elizabeth I in 1594 (actually, the court was cutting costs and left the position unfilled for five years). In 1598, Dowland became lutenist to Christian IV of Denmark, but he was dismissed for unsatisfactory conduct in 1606. Between 1609 and 1612 he entered the service of Theophilus, Lord Howard de Walden, and finally in 1612, he was appointed one of the "musicians for the lutes" to James I of England.

Dowland managed to respect tradition while absorbing the trends he encountered on the Continent. Dominating Dowland's output is a form called the lute song or ayre. It was peculiar to English music, and was systematized somewhat by the 1597 publication of Dowland's First Booke of Songes or Ayres. These early songs are simple strophic settings, often in dance forms, with an almost complete absence of chromaticism. Continental influences come to the fore in such later songs as In darkness let me dwell (1610) and Lasso vita mia (1612), full of declamation, chromaticism, and dissonance.

Dowland also wrote a significant amount of instrumental music, much of it for solo lute and some for consort. There are some ninety works for solo lute; many are dances, often with highly embellished variations. Even here the Continental influence shows; such chromatic fantasies as Forlorne Hope fancye and Farewell are far more intense than the lute music of any other English (or, for that matter, Continental) composer of the time. Among the consort works, Dowland's Lachrimae, or Seaven Teares Figured in Seaven Passionate Pavans (1604), became one of the most celebrated compositions of the late Renaissance.
Hmm... Why does this remind me of Stockhausen?

 ;D
Beethoven's Op. 133 -- A fugue so bad that even Beethoven himself called it "Grosse".

Offline TheGSMoeller

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Re: Down with Dowland
« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2014, 04:58:57 PM »
Hmm... Why does this remind me of Stockhausen?

 ;D

You replied without reading or listening. Banned from the Dowland thread....for just an hour, then come back and enjoy!  ;D


Offline EigenUser

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Re: Down with Dowland
« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2014, 05:08:49 PM »
You replied without reading or listening. Banned from the Dowland thread....for just an hour, then come back and enjoy!  ;D
???  :P
At the risk of getting myself banned for another hour, I will say that based on the thread's title I thought we were forming an angry mob against Dowland. I was going to suggest "Dowland's Doldrums", but that's not very flattering I suppose.

Actually, the clips you posted are quite nice -- especially the first. For some reason, the timbre of the bowed instrument (viol?) on the first clip reminded me of an ondes martinot.
Beethoven's Op. 133 -- A fugue so bad that even Beethoven himself called it "Grosse".

Offline TheGSMoeller

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Re: Down with Dowland
« Reply #4 on: May 20, 2014, 05:17:18 PM »
???  :P
At the risk of getting myself banned for another hour, I will say that based on the thread's title I thought we were forming an angry mob against Dowland. I was going to suggest "Dowland's Doldrums", but that's not very flattering I suppose.

Actually, the clips you posted are quite nice -- especially the first. For some reason, the timbre of the bowed instrument (viol?) on the first clip reminded me of an ondes martinot.

I was thinking more along the lines of contemporary slang, "I'm down with that."

You Tube has some good videos available on Dowland, I was surprised.

Offline EigenUser

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Re: Down with Dowland
« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2014, 05:21:10 PM »
I was thinking more along the lines of contemporary slang, "I'm down with that."
That's what I figured :).

You Tube has some good videos available on Dowland, I was surprised.
I've heard the name many times, but I don't think I've ever heard his music.
Beethoven's Op. 133 -- A fugue so bad that even Beethoven himself called it "Grosse".

Offline TheGSMoeller

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Re: Down with Dowland
« Reply #6 on: May 20, 2014, 05:21:50 PM »
A few other recordings of Lachrimae, or Seaven Teares, that are worth the time. Can't really go wrong with any three, but should be noted that the Parley of Instruments utilizes Baroque violins that offers a unique timbre.

 

 


Offline Archaic Torso of Apollo

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Re: Down with Dowland
« Reply #7 on: May 20, 2014, 06:13:06 PM »
By an interesting coincidence, just a few days ago I ordered Savall's recording of Lachrimae. I like music of this period, but for whatever reason had not gotten around to Dowland yet.
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Offline calyptorhynchus

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Re: Down with Dowland
« Reply #8 on: May 20, 2014, 08:58:01 PM »
What I find annoying with the Dowland discography is that BIS issued a beautiful CD of the First Book of Songs with Jakob Lindberg and Rogers Covey Crump, but no-one has produced complete recordings of the 2nd and 3rd Book of Songs and A Pilgrim's Solace. The Consort of Musik did but they made the disastrous decision to sing many of the songs as consort songs (which they obvious aren't and in this form they sound stupid). So you have to wade through dozens of disks to assemble as many of the songs from the last three collections as you can in solo versions.

 :'(

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Re: Down with Dowland
« Reply #9 on: April 30, 2015, 04:28:56 AM »
This disc is on repeat AND I NEVER DO THAT! Love this music and this man's voice.



So, yeah, I'm down. Is this disc representative? How much Dowland is there?

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Down with Dowland
« Reply #10 on: April 30, 2015, 04:35:09 AM »
Go, cat, go!
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Re: Down with Dowland
« Reply #11 on: April 30, 2015, 12:15:36 PM »
This disc is on repeat AND I NEVER DO THAT! Love this music and this man's voice.



So, yeah, I'm down. Is this disc representative? How much Dowland is there?

I saw this live.



Remarkably beautiful voice.

Offline (: premont :)

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Re: Down with Dowland
« Reply #12 on: April 30, 2015, 01:14:56 PM »
A few other recordings of Lachrimae, or Seaven Teares, that are worth the time. Can't really go wrong with any three .....

Nice to see that you include my two favorites, The Dowland Consort and The Rose Consort. :)
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heldigt nok at tiden går.

Jubal Slate

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Re: Down with Dowland
« Reply #13 on: May 02, 2015, 06:08:51 AM »
I just picked up the four CDs from Naxos of Nigel North's Dowland. Not as immediately likable as the vocal stuff, but I'm sure it will grow on me.

Offline TheGSMoeller

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Re: Down with Dowland
« Reply #14 on: August 15, 2017, 05:01:16 PM »
Seeing some discussions of Dowland the past few days. Bumping this thread I made a few years ago in hopes of those discussions making their way here!
Dowland continues to have composed some of my favorite music.

What say you?!  8)

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Re: Down with Dowland
« Reply #15 on: August 15, 2017, 08:56:46 PM »


Very much enjoying the interpretation of Trembling Shadow by Michael Morrow. They use three voices I think, and some viol type accompaniment, they sing with a more or less white tone, but it is naturally expressive music. Emma Kirkby's voice is my cup of tea too, and she takes it with just a lute, but I don't know if I don't prefer Musica Reservata's madrigal treatment.


.
« Last Edit: August 15, 2017, 09:08:29 PM by Mandryka »
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Offline calyptorhynchus

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Re: Down with Dowland
« Reply #16 on: August 15, 2017, 10:49:15 PM »
The good news is that there is now a complete recording of the Second Book of Songs as solo songs:


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Re: Down with Dowland
« Reply #17 on: August 18, 2017, 02:37:04 AM »
The good news is that there is now a complete recording of the Second Book of Songs as solo songs:



It's good to hear Dowland sung without English middle class vowels and sung straight, with just a lute, with no romantic vibrato, with expression by means of phrasing, dynamics and colour. You can find other recordings which do one or the other, it's harder to find ones which do both.

Her voice is characterful, with quite a bit of ping I'd say, it has rapidly grown on me, it feels like I'm being showered with rubies.

The English vowel thing is probably just my psychological baggage, it always makes me think of Aunt Edith's drawing room and its antemacassers and aspidestra. Or worse, the SCR.
« Last Edit: August 18, 2017, 02:47:55 AM by Mandryka »
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Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Down with Dowland
« Reply #18 on: August 18, 2017, 03:39:37 AM »
Down With Dowland!

Man, that is harsh.

(Okay, so I am late here...)

??? :P
At the risk of getting myself banned for another hour, I will say that based on the thread's title I thought we were forming an angry mob against Dowland.
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Offline TheGSMoeller

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Re: Down with Dowland
« Reply #19 on: August 18, 2017, 06:51:58 AM »
Down With Dowland!

Man, that is harsh.

(Okay, so I am late here...)

Yeah I realized the double meaning after I created it. It's meant as agreeing with the talent of Dowland, as in, "Hell yeah I'm down with Dowland!"