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Orpheus in England

Catalogue numberBIS-1725 CD
Release date2010-12-30
Orig. sample rate44100Hz
Total time75:19

Sometime around 1600, John Dowland received a pavane composed by his patron Moritz, Landgrave of Hesse, in honour of ‘the English Orpheus’. A hundred years later a collection of songs by Henry Purcell was published posthumously with the title Orpheus Britannicus. And although more than three centuries have passed since then, the mythical comparison still rings true. To quote Emma Kirkby’s own liner notes to the present disc, these giants in the history of English song ‘share the quality of arresting any listener with a directness and grace that takes our breath away still today, aligning us with the men, animals, plants and stones that were said to weep or dance, or both, when Orpheus sang to his instrument.’ Together with the lutenist Jakob Lindberg, Emma Kirkby has devised a programme which takes in a wide spectrum of emotions: from the pastoral joyfulness of By a fountain and that distillate of melancholy which is In darkness let me dwell, we are led via the desperation and drama of Bess of Bedlam to the conviction expressed in Music for a while that music has the power to vanquish even death. Interspersing the songs are lute solos, including Dowland’s immortal Lachrimae, but also Lindberg’s own transcriptions of Purcell pieces such as The Cibell and the Echo Dance of the Furies from Dido and Aeneas, performed on Lindberg’s unique four-hundred year old instrument. Kirkby and Lindberg are musical partners of long standing, with earlier collaborations on BIS including Musique and Sweet Poetrie, a survey of the lute song across Europe around the year 1600. ‘A grand tour conducted by a pair of ideal guides’ was how the reviewer in Gramophone described that disc, while his colleague in International Record Review found that the ‘undeniably glorious performances’ made the disc ‘a journey well worth making’. While the journey on the present disc is one in time rather than space, the performances are as glorious as ever, and Emma Kirkby and Jakob Lindberg remain the best guides imaginable.
Extra material for download
  Composer: Dowland, John
01 Disdain me still 03:37 $ 0.76 USD
  Composer: Dowland, John
02 Lend your ears to my sorrow 02:56 $ 0.62 USD
  Composer: Dowland, John
03 Come, heavy sleep 04:08 $ 0.87 USD
  Composer: Dowland, John
04 Preludium 01:07 $ 0.22 USD
  Composer: Dowland, John
05 The Earl of Essex, his Galliard 01:52 $ 0.39 USD
  Composer: Dowland, John
06 A shepherd in a shade 02:32 $ 0.53 USD
  Composer: Dowland, John
07 By a fountain where I lay 02:36 $ 0.55 USD
  Composer: Dowland, John
08 Away with these self-loving lads 02:39 $ 0.56 USD
  Composer: Dowland, John
09 Lachrimæ 05:08 $ 1.08 USD
  Composer: Dowland, John
10 Tarleton’s Riserrectione 01:25 $ 0.30 USD
  Composer: Dowland, John
11 If that a sinner’s sighs 02:32 $ 0.53 USD
  Composer: Dowland, John
12 A Fantasie 04:15 $ 0.89 USD
  Composer: Dowland, John
13 Toss not my soul 02:55 $ 0.61 USD
  Composer: Dowland, John
14 In darkness let me dwell 03:42 $ 0.78 USD
  Composer: Purcell, Henry
15 She loves and she confesses too 01:52 $ 0.39 USD
  Composer: Purcell, Henry
16 They tell us that you mighty powers above 02:39 $ 0.56 USD
17 Trumpet Tune called the Cibell 01:35 $ 0.33 USD
18 Echo Dance of the Furies 01:15 $ 0.26 USD
19 Ritornello ‘The Grove’ 01:00 $ 0.21 USD
  Composer: Purcell, Henry
20 Fly swift, ye hours 05:09 $ 1.08 USD
  Composer: Purcell, Henry
21 Oh lead me to some peaceful gloom 02:35 $ 0.54 USD
  Composer: Purcell, Henry
22 What a sad fate is mine 02:47 $ 0.58 USD
23 Lilliburlero. A New Irish Tune 00:50 $ 0.18 USD
24 A New Scotch Tune 01:28 $ 0.31 USD
25 Hornpipe 00:48 $ 0.17 USD
26 A New Ground 02:23 $ 0.50 USD
  Composer: Purcell, Henry
27 From silent shades or Bess of Bedlam 03:57 $ 0.83 USD
  Composer: Purcell, Henry
28 Music for a while 03:44 $ 0.78 USD
  Album total 75:19
SopranoKirkby, Emma
LuteLindberg, Jakob
ComposerDowland, John
Purcell, Henry

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