Nigel North - Go From My Window - Millennium of Music
North has an unrivalled reputation as a lutenist. His style merges impeccable
technique with a jazz-like improvisational ability, which makes repertoire like
Dowland ideal. The great lutenist composers of the sixteenth century were
masters of improvisation, but, of course, we have no concrete evidence of the
forms that these improvisations took. ‘The versions that are handed down to us
in lute tablature are often so well worked out and complicated that they may
represent a parallel track to the improvised version which we will never hear!'
Of the composers represented on Go From My Window, Dowland needs no introduction. Of the previous generation, John Johnson is now less well known. He was one of Queen Elizabeth I's three court luteninsts for fifteen years. Employing his special style of ‘division writing', Johnson wrote many beautiful solos and duets. As North says: ‘While his ‘Walsingham' is breathtakingly simple, ‘Carman's Whistle' may sound simple but is actually technically very demanding. I doubt that even Johnson could have improvised this setting.'