Phantasm - Dowland: Lachrimae - AllMusic

John Dowland's Lachrimae or Seven Tears is a series of seven instrumental pavans in five parts, based on the melody of his lute song, Flow, My Tears, followed by a collection of diverse dances. This famous book of chamber pieces is presented complete by the viol consort Phantasm, which is joined by lutenist Elizabeth Kenny, and their expert interpretations have the characteristic mix of poetic melancholy and courtly elegance that define Dowland's music. Of these pieces, the tenth track, Semper Dowland semper Dolens, bears Dowland's personal motto and conveys the impression that he was always dolorous. Yet the galliards and almans are lively enough to banish the gloom, and Phantasm plays with bright sonorities and a strong sense of rhythm, which seems difficult to articulate on viols, since the more typical sound of these instruments is the smooth flow of lines and harmonies and the poignant zing of the bowing. Linn's super audio recording is close-up and vibrant, which is ideal for making out the myriad details in the counterpoint and Kenny's often virtuosic improvisation. Highly recommended.

02 September 2016