Orpheus in England: Dowland & Purcell

Orpheus in England: Dowland & Purcell

by Emma Kirkby
     
 

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The Orpheus in England title of this release refers to the fact that both John Dowland and Henry Purcell were honored with the "Orpheus" designation after their deaths, nearly 100 years apart. The booklet for this Swedish release even comes with an anonymous poem telling the deceased Purcell to "Touch but thy Lyre, the Stones will come and dance themselves intoSee more details below

Overview

The Orpheus in England title of this release refers to the fact that both John Dowland and Henry Purcell were honored with the "Orpheus" designation after their deaths, nearly 100 years apart. The booklet for this Swedish release even comes with an anonymous poem telling the deceased Purcell to "Touch but thy Lyre, the Stones will come and dance themselves into a Tomb." The unusual idea of connecting the two composers, who shared a common tendency toward a mixture of melancholy and daring harmonic thinking, works well, and there are many lovely moments here. Some come from lutenist Jakob Lindberg, who delivers limpid readings of some Dowland standards and arranges a group of Purcell keyboard pieces for lute. This neither damages the music, nor would have seemed odd to a household musician of Purcell's time, and the lute reveals the unusual voicings in little pieces like "Lilliburlero" and "A New Scotch Tune" (tracks 23-24). The star of the show is veteran British early music soprano Emma Kirkby, who for her legion of British fans can do no wrong. She's still got it as she enters her seventh decade in terms of building up a profound dramatic structure in a serious piece; Dowland's "In darkness let me dwell" (track 14) and Purcell's "From silent shades or Bess of Bedlam" (track 27) are extremely compelling. In general she does very well with the Purcell pieces, mostly dramatic excerpts from stage works. In the simpler Dowland lute songs her voice sounds a bit thick, but she still has star quality to burn. The biggest complaint is not with either of the performers, but with BIS' sound, recorded in a Swedish church that swallows up the music and overemphasizes instrument noise from Lindberg's tremendously interesting lute from the year 1590, perhaps the oldest lute in existence with its original soundboard. Recommended for Kirkby fans.

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Product Details

Release Date:
01/25/2011
Label:
Bis
UPC:
7318590017258
catalogNumber:
1725
Rank:
179766

Tracks

  1. Oedipus, incidental music, Z. 583  - Henry Purcell  - John Dryden  - Emma Kirkby  - Nathaniel Lee  - Jakob Lindberg  - Robert Suff
  2. The Second Part of Musick's Handmaid, lessons (12) for harpsichord  - Henry Purcell  - Jakob Lindberg  - Jakob Lindberg  - Robert Suff
  3. What a sad fate is mine, song, Z. 428 (2 versions)  - Henry Purcell  - Emma Kirkby  - Jakob Lindberg  - Robert Suff
  4. Bonduca, or, The British Heroine, incidental music, Z. 574  - Henry Purcell  - Emma Kirkby  - Jakob Lindberg  - Robert Suff  - John Fletcher
  5. Dido and Aeneas, opera, Z. 626  - Henry Purcell  - Jakob Lindberg  - Jakob Lindberg  - Robert Suff
  6. The Indian Queen, semi-opera, Z. 630  - Henry Purcell  - Abraham Cowley  - John Dryden  - Robert Howard  - Emma Kirkby  - Jakob Lindberg  - Robert Suff
  7. Far from the triumphing court, for voice, lute & bass viol (A Musicall Banquet): In Darkness Let Me Dwell  - John Dowland  - Emma Kirkby  - Jakob Lindberg  - Robert Suff
  8. The Second Booke of Songs or Ayres of 2, 4. and 5. parts: Toss Not My Soul  - John Dowland  - Emma Kirkby  - Jakob Lindberg  - Robert Suff
  9. Fantasia, for lute (from "A Varietie of Lute-lessons"): A Fantasie  - John Dowland  - Jakob Lindberg  - Robert Suff
  10. A Pilgrimes Solace: If That a Sinner's Sighs  - John Dowland  - Emma Kirkby  - Jakob Lindberg  - Robert Suff
  11. Tarleton's Resurrection, for lute, P 59  - John Dowland  - Jakob Lindberg  - Robert Suff
  12. Lachrimae, for lute, P 15  - John Dowland  - Jakob Lindberg  - Robert Suff
  13. The Firste Booke of Songes or Ayres of Fowre Parts: Away With These Self-Loving Lads  - John Dowland  - Emma Kirkby  - Jakob Lindberg  - Robert Suff
  14. The Third and Last Booke of Songs or Aires: By a Fountain Where I Lay  - John Dowland  - Emma Kirkby  - Jakob Lindberg  - Robert Suff
  15. The Second Booke of Songs or Ayres of 2, 4. and 5. parts: A Shepherd in a Shade  - John Dowland  - Emma Kirkby  - Jakob Lindberg  - Robert Suff
  16. Fantasia, for lute (from "A Varietie of Lute-lessons")  - John Dowland  - Jakob Lindberg  - Robert Suff
  17. The Firste Booke of Songes or Ayres of Fowre Parts: Come, Heavy Sleep  - John Dowland  - Emma Kirkby  - Jakob Lindberg  - Robert Suff
  18. The Third and Last Booke of Songs or Aires: Lend Your Ears to My Sorrow  - John Dowland  - Emma Kirkby  - Jakob Lindberg  - Robert Suff
  19. A Pilgrimes Solace: Disdain Me Still  - John Dowland  - Emma Kirkby  - Jakob Lindberg  - Robert Suff  -  William Marshal, Earl of Pembroke

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