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John Dowland - First Booke of Songes or Ayres (2018)

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John Dowland - First Booke of Songes or Ayres (2018)

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1.Unquiet Thoughts
2.Who Ever Thinks Or Hopes of Love for Love
3.My Thoughts Are Wing’d With Hopes
4.If My Complaints Could Passions Move
5.Can She Excuse My Wrongs with Virtue’s Cloak?
6.Now, Oh Now I Needs Must Part
7.Dear, If You Change, I’ll Never Choose Again
8.Burst Forth, My Tears
9.Go Crystal Tears
10.Think’st thou then by thy feigning
11.Come Away, Come Sweet Love
12.Rest A While, You Cruel Cares
13.Sleep, Wayward Thoughts
14.All Ye Whom Love or Fortune Hath Betray’d
15.Wilt Thou Unkind Thus Reave Me of My Heart?
16.Would My Conceit that First Enforc’d My Woe
17.Come Again, Sweet Love Doth Now Invite
18.His Golden Locks Time Hath to Silver Turned
19.Awake, Sweet Love, Thou Art Return’d
20.Come, Heavy Sleep
21.Away With These Self-Loving Lads

Grace Davidson - soprano
David Miller - lute


Soprano Grace Davidson has risen to prominence in the early music field, largely on the strength of her pure, unaffected singing and exceptional interpretations of Baroque vocal music by Vivaldi and Handel. With this 2018 release from Signum Classics, Davidson performs the First Book of Songes or Ayres of John Dowland, the Elizabethan composer who cultivated melancholia in the lute song Flow, My Tears, and the instrumental pieces based on that melody, Lachrimae or Seven Teares. The songs in this program reflect Dowland's characteristic poetic misery, encapsulated in his motto, "Semper Dowland, semper dolens," but the brooding feeling is tempered by Davidson's lovely singing, which resembles a light in the darkness. Her sweet voice may at first seem too bright and chaste for these songs of thwarted desire and stylized self-pity, though nothing less than Davidson's eloquent expressions and transparent tone would do. Joined by David Miller on lute, the arpeggiated harmonies are spare and dry, so the vocal line carries the greater emotional weight, all the more reason for Davidson's controlled expression and smooth phrasing to maintain a balance with the fragile accompaniment. Highly recommended as one of the most beautiful albums of 2018, this superb collection will build anticipation for a recording of the Second Book of Songes or Ayres. ---Blair Sanderson, AllMusic Review


Following her debut release of Baroque works by Vivaldi and Handel earlier this year, Grace Davidson returns to Signum with an intimate album of Dowland’s first book of lute songs, accompanied by David Miller. Blending melancholy with wit in his writing for both lute and voice, John Dowland’s songs have continued to enchant audiences and singers for nearly 400 years. The ‘First Booke’ includes some of Dowland’s less well-known works, and was recorded in the sensitive acoustic of Ascot Priory in Berkshire, UK. “Grace Davidson has one of the most beautiful and pure soprano voices on earth.” (Eric Whitacre, composer) “Grace Davidson sings with gorgeous purity and warmth and hits some extraordinarily ethereal high notes.” ---naxosdirect.com

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Last Updated (Thursday, 20 December 2018 15:50)


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