Dowland, Robert Johnson, John Danyel, Gregory Huwet, Heinrich SchŸtz, Sigismondo dÕIndia, Pierre GuŽdron, Wojciech Dlugoraj

COMPOSERS: Dowland,Gregory Huwet,Heinrich Schátz,John Danyel,Pierre Guédron,Robert Johnson,Sigismondo d’India,Wojciech Dlugoraj
ALBUM TITLE: Musique and Sweet Poetrie
WORKS: Jewels from Europe around 1600: songs and lute solos by Dowland, Robert Johnson, John Danyel, Gregory Huwet, Heinrich Schütz, Sigismondo d’India, Pierre Guédron, Wojciech Dlugoraj etc
PERFORMER: Emma Kirkby (soprano), Jakob Lindberg (lute)
This exquisite collection of musical gems is arranged so as to represent a tour around Europe at the end of the Renaissance. Moreover, on this musical journey we are accompanied by two of the finest musicians around, and by a magnificently restored lute of c1590 from Augsburg. It is the English and French pieces that best display the delicacy of effects from this duo. There are, for example, the darting moments of lute counterpoint and the shimmering little vocal trillos in Dowland’s ‘Go Crystal Tears’, while in Boësset’s ‘Que Philis’ Emma Kirkby provides a masterclass in ‘singing across the barline’. Her projection of the dramatic content of Psalm 70 in Schütz’s German setting is worthy of the stage, and in Sigismondo d’India’s ‘Da l’onde’ the interchange between lute and voice is thrillingly managed. Only in Dowland’s ‘Shall I Sue’ is there a slight shrillness in the voice, notwithstanding the relatively low pitch of these performances. Jacob Lindberg coaxes a focused, warm and controlled tone from his restored lute, though one can’t help feeling that more fire would have been welcome in the Toccatas and Branles (dance music). Even so, there is a feast of pleasing musical detail here from both performers, beautifully captured by superb recording techniques. Anthony Pryer