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John Dowland & William Bird – Goe Nightly Cares

John Dowland & William Byrd – Goe Nightly Cares

Recorded at The Maltings, Snape, Suffolk, Great Britain, in December 1987 and April 1989.

About these works:
The Lachrimae pavans form the English Renaissance composer John Dowland’s most famous instrumental work. It is a set of seven pieces written for five viols and lute, each of them a variation on the tune of the composer’s celebrated ayre, “Flow my tears” (used by sciencie fiction writer Philip K. Dick as the title of one os his most famous novels). The collection was published in London in 1604 as Lachrimae or seaven teares, figured in seaven passionate pavans, with divers other pavans, galliards and allemands, set forth for the lute, viols or violins, in five parts, when Dowland was lutenist to Christian IV of Denmark. Each of the Lachrimae pavans was given its own title by the composer, though the significance of each is uncertain. Lachrimae Antiquae (lat. Old tears) already existed as a lute solo.
Lachrimae Antiquae Novae (lat. Old tears renewed) is a harmonic parody of Lachrimae Antiquae.
Lachrimae Gementes (lat. Sighing tears).
Lachrimae Tristes (lat. Sad tears).
Lachrimae Coctae (lat. Forced tears) is a harmonic parody of Lachrimae Tristes.
Lachrimae Amantis (lat. A Lover’s tears).
Lachrimae Verae (lat. True tears).
The title page of the publication is adorned with a latin epigram: ‘Aut Furit, aut Lachrimat, quem non Fortunata beavit’ (‘He whom Fortune has not blessed either rages or weeps’). The “divers other” compositions included in the Lachrimae publication are: “Semper Dowland semper Dolens”, “Sir Henry Umptons Funeral”, “M.John Langton’s Pavan”, “The King of Denmark’s Galliard”, “The Earl of Essex Galliard” (dedicated to Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex), “Sir John Souch his Galliard”, “M.Henry Noel his Galliard”, “M.Giles Hobies his Galiard”, “M.Nicholas Gryffith his Galliard”, “M.Thomas Collier his Galliard with 2 Trebles”, “Captain Digorie Piper his Galliard”, “M.Bucton’s Galliard”, “Mistress Nichol’s Allemand” and “M.George Whitehead his Almand”.

The period up to 1591 also saw important additions to William Byrd’s output of consort music, some of which has probably been lost. Two magnificent large-sale compositions are the Browning, a set of 20 variations on a popular melody (also known as The leaves be green) which evidently originated as a celebration of the ripening of nuts in autumn, and in an elaborate ground on the formula known as the Goodnight Ground. The smaller-scale fantasias (those a3 and a4) use a light-textured imitative style which owes something to Continental models, while the five and six-part fantasias employ large-scale cumulative construction and allusions to snatches of popular songs. A good example of the last type is the Fantasia a6 (No 2) which begins with a sober imitative paragraph before progressively more fragmented textures (working in a quotation from Greensleeves at one point). It even includes a complete three-strain galliard, followed by an expansive coda.

The Players:

Track List:

Stereo, DDD, mp3, 320 kbps, 315.85 Mb, 2 hours 16 minutes. Covers & info included.

Part1 —–   Part2 —–   Part3 —–   Part4