DOWLAND Seaven Teares
The Seaven Teares are the heart of Lachrimae; the purpose of the other 14 items is unknown – were they intended to be played together with the Pavans‚ and if so‚ in what order? I have come across no recording in which all 21 items were played in the published order. For example‚ The Dowland Consort follow the Teares with the rest but change their order. The Parley of Instruments do likewise but add three lute solos. The Rose Consort of Viols offer only the Seaven Teares‚ each preceded by a suitably lachrymose lutesong‚ whilst the King’s Noyse here intersperse five lutesongs and omit some of the additional 14 pieces. They also follow The Parley’s example by using period violins instead of viols‚ an option offered by Dowland himself.
This present recording is superb in every way. Ellen Hargis sings in sensitive response to her texts and her diction is almost clear enough to make the printed ones in the inlay booklet redundant. The violins of The King’s Noyse have a rounder and less edgy sound than those of The Parley of Instruments‚ and their dynamic ebb and flow is as eloquent as that of Ellen Hargis’s voice. The recording itself and the annotation are superb.
With so many options available (the above and several more) you pays your money and you takes your choice. Mine rests firmly with this new recording.