Alexander Chance: Drop Not, Mine Eyes

Record and Artist Details

Genre:

Vocal

Label: Linn

Media Format: CD or Download

Media Runtime: 66

Mastering:

DDD

Catalogue Number: CKD711

CKD711. Alexander Chance: Drop Not, Mine Eyes

Tracks:

Composition Artist Credit
(The) First Book of Songs or Ayres, Movement: Can she excuse my wrongs with vertues cloake (= The Earl of Essex Galliard) John Dowland, Composer
Alexander Chance, Countertenor
Toby Carr, Lute
Preludium John Dowland, Composer
Toby Carr, Lute
(The) Second Booke of Songs or Ayres, Movement: I saw my Lady weepe John Dowland, Composer
Alexander Chance, Countertenor
Toby Carr, Lute
Lachrimae antiquae/ Flow my Tears John Dowland, Composer
Alexander Chance, Countertenor
Toby Carr, Lute
Galliards, Movement: Captaine Digorie his Galiard, P19 John Dowland, Composer
Toby Carr, Lute
I care not for these ladies Thomas Campion, Composer
Alexander Chance, Countertenor
Toby Carr, Lute
(21) Ayres, Movement: The sypres curten of the night (The Cypress Curtain) Thomas Campion, Composer
Alexander Chance, Countertenor
Toby Carr, Lute
Never weather-beaten saile more willing bent to shore Thomas Campion, Composer
Alexander Chance, Countertenor
Toby Carr, Lute
Galliards, Movement: Mignarda (Mignarde), P34 John Dowland, Composer
Toby Carr, Lute
(2) Anthems, Movement: And I saw another angel (Revelation, Ch 7) Charles Villiers Stanford, Composer
Alexander Chance, Countertenor
Toby Carr, Lute
Musicke of Sundrie Kindes, Part I, Movement: Faire sweet cruell Thomas Ford, Composer
Alexander Chance, Countertenor
Toby Carr, Lute
Pavan John Danyel, Composer
Toby Carr, Lute
Songs for the Lute, Viol and Voice, Movement: Mrs. M E her funeral tears for the death of her hu John Danyel, Composer
Alexander Chance, Countertenor
Toby Carr, Lute
Hee whose desires John Danyel, Composer
Alexander Chance, Countertenor
Toby Carr, Lute
In darknesse let mee dwell John Dowland, Composer
Alexander Chance, Countertenor
Toby Carr, Lute
(Le) Triomphe de l'amour, Movement: Entrée d'Apollon Jean-Baptiste Lully, Composer
Toby Carr, Lute
O Solitude! my sweetest choice Henry Purcell, Composer
Alexander Chance, Countertenor
Toby Carr, Lute
Prélude Robert de Visée, Composer
Toby Carr, Lute
(An) Evening Hymn on a Ground, 'Now that the sun hath veil'd his light' Henry Purcell, Composer
Alexander Chance, Countertenor
Toby Carr, Lute

When it comes to countertenor Alexander Chance, son of Michael Chance, the Adam’s apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. After becoming the first countertenor to win the International Handel Singing Competition last year (also walking away with the Audience Prize), Chance now releases his debut recording: a programme of English song with lutenist Toby Carr. And it’s a thing of beauty.

Chance’s tone is pellucid; notes fall round and clear as water drops – it’s a really outstanding instrument, fuller and straighter-toned than his father’s, with a lovely softness at the bottom. His restraint is admirable – not overworking songs by Dowland, Campion and Purcell, whose crisp outlines are so much of their charm – as is his control, showcased best in the Purcell: the unbroken horizon-line phrases of ‘An Evening Hymn’, the silky melismas of ‘O solitude’.

These are well-known works: a serious statement of intent from a young singer who could have hedged his bets with unusual repertoire or programming, but instead gives us a classic recital that maps directly on to extant recordings by Bowman, Blaze, Scholl and Davies, among others. It invites comparison, and Chance more than holds his own.

The disc’s theme is melancholy, and it’s in the lighter moments – the courtly role-play of ‘Can she excuse my wrongs’; the knowing ‘I care not for these ladies’, with its ‘wanton country maid’ who ‘never will say no’ – that Chance shows perhaps too much taste and understatement. Just a little twinkle in the eye, a lifting and lightening of tone and dance rhythms, might give us the ebb to balance a disc that flows in full vocal spate much of the time.

Carr’s delicate touch supplies attractive lute solos by way of interludes, including a ravishing little Prelude by Visée and a Mignarda by Dowland that sings with contrapuntal clarity. All ease and intimate gesture, they’re a good foil to Chance’s more assertive delivery. It’s a lovely pairing, and a recording in which Chance stakes serious claim to the title of his generation’s most exciting British countertenor.

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