Dowland: Lachrimae

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LABELS: Virgin Veritas
WORKS: Lachrimae
PERFORMER: Christopher Wilson (lute)Fretwork
CATALOGUE NO: VC 5 45005 2 DDD (1989/90)
Dowland’s Lachrimae, steeped in the fashionable melancholy of his time, treads a fine line between musical excellence and emotional monotony. The variation sequence of seven pavans that opens this famous 1604 collection for lute and viols is formally bold but in mood akin to seven shades of gloom. Other pieces here, mostly galliards, are more lively but less powerful. Fretwork perform with customary sensitivity, though I feel the sound could be a touch sharper. Graham Lock