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Gramophone
2017 Early Music Award Winner: 'Freshly informed performances of the highest calibre.'
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MusicWeb International
'For many people this will be self-recommending: possibly the first great instrumental work by an English composer, performed by the premier viol ensemble of our day with the support of a notable lutenist. This lovely recording deserves every success.'
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American Record Guide
'The present recording upholds that dazzling standard.'
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SWR2 Treffpunkt Klassik
Recommendation: 'The longer you immerse yourself in this CD with the "Lachrimae", the more you fall under its spell...'
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Audiophile Audition
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'This new audiophile recording, featuring lutenist Elizabeth Kenny and Phantasm, directed by Laurence Dreyfus, takes listeners on a refreshingly varied Dowland soundscape in which sublime sadness, grief, anger and melancholy is consoled by moments of joy and gladness. Dowland's exceptional melodies combined with Phantasm's luxuriantly rich sound really is a match made in heaven.'
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Fanfare
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,,Diese Klagegesänge sind unbeschreiblich; schöner kann man wohl nicht trauern - und Phantasm musiziert gemeinsam mit Elizabeth Kenny, Theorbe, in einer solchen Ausdrucksstärke und Homo- genität, dass man nur staunen kann. Unbedingt anhören!''
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Der Spiegel
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Gramophone
Choice: 'These are poignant performances of music steeped in melancholy and given a deep beauty by Elizabeth Kenny and Phantasm, led by Laurence Dreyfus: a really wonderful Dowland recording.'
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Der Neue Merker
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The Sunday Times
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Andrew Benson-Wilson Blog
'gorgeous'
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The Irish Times
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Early Music Review
5 Stars
'The organic development of motifs, the constant attention to melodic beauty, the stomach-churning harmonic volte faces make the complete publication a masterpiece...a valuable addition to our understanding of this remarkable publication, and Dreyfus and Kenny's excellent programme notes give us further valuable players' insights into this extraordinary music.'
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Nottingham Post
'The composer's collection of dance music for five bowed instruments and a lute is expertly recreated here by viol consort Phantasm and lutenist Elizabeth Kenny, revelling in the tuneful melancholy which became Dowland's artistic trademark.'
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Messenger Newspapers
'...[a] splendid new Linn CD.'
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Financial Times
4 Stars
'This set of seven pieces for viols and lute still sounds as sensuous and beguiling as it must have done then. The melancholy of the music touches a nerve. Phantasm and lutenist Elizabeth Kenny offer heartfelt playing.'
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BBC Radio 3 'Record Review'
'An absolute pleasure. The recording is a beauty as well: rich and intimate...'
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Phantasm - Dowland: Lachrimae - BBC Music Magazine


01 September 2016
BBC Music Magazine
Kate Bolton-Porciatti
5 Stars

Kate Bolton-Porciatti admires luminious playing in Seven Tears 

Performance: 5 stars

Recording: 5 stars 

Dowland's 1604 collection of 21 lachrymose dances and musical 'tears' (as he himself described them) is tinged throughout with melancholy – the same 'humour of the night' that pervades so many of the musical, literary and artistic works of his age. Dowland gives voice to his own dolorous spirit in an epigram on the collection's title page – 'He whom Fortune has not blessed either rages or weeps' – and in his obsessive re-working of the relentless, four-note 'falling tear' motif that saturates the first seven pavans. The prevailing gloom is relieved by moments of light in some of the livelier dances: sinewy Almans and jaunty Galliards, evocatively named after sundry members of the gentility, Dowland's patron, King Christian IV of Denmark, and even the notorious pirate Digory Piper.

Under the laser-sharp direction of Laurence Dreyfus, the viol consort Phantasm here offers the same flawless playing that has earned its members consistent, well deserved accolades. Despite the brooding nature of the music, their sound is luminous and tempos are fluid, highlighting Dowland's lyricism; indeed, many of these pieces began life as, or subsequently became, songs. The five viols are finely balanced, and if Elizabeth Kenny's artfully played lute is a slightly blushing presence, the engineers have perhaps rightly avoided the temptation to boost its delicate sound.

Among the many memorable recordings of this collection are those by Fretwork, whose sound is richer, darker, with a closer perspective, and Hesperion XX's timeless classic, more deliberately ponderous than Phantasm's subtly wistful accounts.


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