by Daniel Taylor
5.0 1


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Lamento 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
¿Lamento,¿ released in 2001, is Canadian countertenor Daniel Taylor¿s first solo recording of German baroque material, taking him away from his usual repertoire of Elizabethan lutesongs by Dowland, Purcell, Blow, Hume and others. Only six of the fourteen songs feature Taylor; the others are period instrumentals performed most beautifully by the Theatre of Early Music, a group which Taylor himself founded in 2001 in order to bring back the sacredness to music. Musicians include several familiar faces from the ATMA Classique scene: Suzie Napper and Margaret Little on violas da gamba, and frequent Taylor accompanist Sylvain Bergeron on lute. ¿Lamento¿ features several works by leading German Baroque composers, among them Johann Christoph Bach and Dietrich Buxtehude. All of the texts (with the exception of the last song ¿Jubilate Domino¿) are in German, and the liner notes provide excellent translations in French and English. ¿Lamento¿ is indeed a lament: at times an exploration of sorrow, death, and the promise of eternal life, Taylor and the Theatre of Early Music take the listener on a profoundly spiritual journey. Below are several lyrical excerpts from various songs (I have provided the English libretto for simplicity) showcasing the melancholy nature of many of the works: ¿Erbarm dich mein, O Herre Gott¿ I acknowledge and repent of my sin, I alone have sinned in your eyes And ever shall it stand against me. ¿Lamento¿ Oh, had I but water enough in my head, And were my eyes but springs of tears, That I might day and night weep for my sin. My sighs are many and my heart is afflicted, For the Lord has filled me with sorrow. ¿Klag-Lied¿ (written as an elegy for Buxtehude¿s father) Must death then unbind What nothing can unshackle? And must he be wrest from me, Who clings fast to my heart? Ah! My father¿s woeful passing Brings with it such bitter grief, That when the heart is torn from the breast, The pain exceeds that of death. However, the remaining three vocal tracks are more songs of praise than expressions of sorrow. ¿Schlage doch, gewünschte Stunde¿ features a gorgeous accompaniment on bells, and ¿Jubliate Domino¿ is carried along by the counterpoint between voice, organ and viola da gamba. ¿Wenn ich, Herr Jesu, habe dich¿ How happy then the man Who holds Jesus Close to his heart? He will live in abundance And shall want for nothing, For he shall find comfort and care In Jesus. ¿Schlage doch, gewünschte Stunde¿ Come, you angels, come towards me, Open unto me heaven¿s pastures, That I may soon see my Jesus In contented peace of soul! ¿Jubilate Domino¿ Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth, Break forth in song, rejoice, and sing praises. Sing to the Lord with the harp and the sound of a psalm, With trumpets and the sound of a horn, Shout joyfully before the Lord, the King. Taylor¿s voice is at its very best on ¿Lamento,¿ possibly the best I¿ve ever heard it over the years. His voice, which bears several striking similarities to that of British countertenor Michael Chance (Chance is one of Taylor¿s teachers), is warm, radiant, and crystalline on the higher notes, notes of an impossible purity that Taylor spins into heartstopping, achingly beautiful moments suspended in time, like the line ¿Muß sich der mir auch entwinden¿ from ¿Klag-Lied.¿ Every time I hear him hit that impossibly high, pure declaration of grief (¿And must he be wrest from me?¿) I feel a tangible sorrow descend over me. Taylor¿s voice is stunningly beautiful yet accessibly human, and that is what makes him different from German superstar countertenor Andreas Scholl. Scholl possesses an extraordinarily beautiful voice (much like that of Japanese countertenor Yoshikazu Mera), speaks and sings in flawless English and is well versed in all aspects of Baroque performance and even the theology behind religious works, yet somehow his voice, although impeccably pure and technically flawless,