DOWLAND Lute Music and Dances
Many of today's most famous lutenists began with but abandoned the guitar; Bream has maintained a uniquely distinguished career with both instruments. The attitude of 'authentic' lutenists towards Bream has been ambivalent: his instrument, playing technique and style are all in some degree 'inauthentic' and he is therefore not a 'real' lutenist; on the other hand, by freely communicating the Spirit and rich variety of the music (and without making it evident that the lute is a difficult instrument) he has done more than any other single player to re-establish the lute in the affections of the musical public. If he is not a 'real' lutenist then few will know the difference and fewer will care about it; most will happily settle for these wonderfully live and human performances of music by the greatest of all English lutenists, as I feel Dowland himself might have done. The sound is magnificent and you can hardly tell that the programme is collated from two recordings, separated by a nine-year gap. This is, pace the purists, as important a recording of lute music as any on offer, a statement of what this marvellous music is really about.'