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Posted October 1, 2010
This recording presents Elizabethan lute music, as well as poetry from the Elizabethan and Restoration eras pertaining to the lute. While the poetry is from a variety of sources (including snippets from two of Shakespeare's plays) most of the music is from the prolific pen of John Dowland, who's repetoire is currently enjoying a well deserved revival.
The music is performed by renowned virtuoso, Ronn McFarlane, whose playing is, as always, both inspired and inspiring. His performance of Dowland's "Lachrimae" is, by itself, worth the price of admission.
Robert Aubrey Davis, the noted NPR radio presenter, provides the recitative; his readings sound to my (admittedly inexpert) ears to be well versed and sincere.
The sound quality of this recording is consistently excellent. My only real quibble is that these two gentlemen were recorded on separate days, at separate locations, which gives the project a slightly disjointed feel. Since, according to the liner notes, they've performed this type of material in front of live audiences on several occasions, one can only hope that they'll consider setting up some recording equipment the next time they mount the stage. Until that time, this excellent and expertly done recording is the next best thing and is highly recommended.