Friday, 14 December 2007

29. John Dowland - Lachrimae or Seaven Teares (published 1604)


Title: Lachrimae
Performer: The Parley Of Instruments Renaissance Violin Consort
Director: Peter Holman
Year: 1994
Length: 28 minutes


This work consists of a set of seven variations on Lachrimae by Dowland, we had heard this theme before on his lute songs and it was actually my favourite lute song by Dowland, Flow My Tears.

In this context the work presents a single problem, as the theme track is repeated at the beginning of each quite short variation it can become quite repetitive, but then it is difficult to fault it because the song is just so completely lovely.

Dowland's variations on the song show themselves slowly as the track progresses from the theme onward and these subtle shifts eventually turn it into a completely different Lachrima. It is beautiful music indeed. The rest of the CD contains the rest of the publication of music by Dowland in 1604, and is equally worth listening to. Highly Recommended.

Final Grade



From Wikipedia:

Flow my tears is a lute song (specifically, an "ayre") by the accomplished lutenist and composer John Dowland. Flow my tears is Dowland's most famous ayre, and became his signature song, literally as well as metaphorically: he would occasionally sign his name "Jo. Dolandi de Lachrimae". Like others of Dowland's lute songs, Flow my tears' form and style are based on a dance, in this case the pavan. It was first published in The Second Booke of Songs or Ayres of 2, 4. and 5. parts (London, 1600). The song begins with a falling tear motif, starting on an A and descending to an E by step on the text "Flow my tears". This may have been borrowed from an Orlande de Lassus motet or Luca Marenzio madrigal, in addition to other borrowings in the piece. Anthony Boden calls the song "probably the most widely known English song of the early 17th century."

Jordi Savall's version of Lachrimae Antiquae:

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