John Wilbye: Draw On Sweet Night
Format: COMPACT DISC
Hollingworth, Robert; Fagiolini, I
To welcome the spring, British ensemble I Fagiolini puts aside its beloved Monteverdi to uncover its own national heritage: the best of John Wilbye's classic Golden Age madrigals. Whilst his oeuvre may have been small (just 75 works that we know of and most just a couple of minutes long), time and again, in these exquisite cameos, Wilbye delivers what might be reckoned the ultimate madrigal experience. The plangent dissonance of ‘Draw on, sweet night’ and ‘Weep, weep, mine eyes’ perfectly evoke English melancholy, while ‘Sweet honey-sucking bees’ and ‘Adieu, sweet Amaryllis’ are such sheer pleasure to sing that many listeners will scrabble to unearth old scores. This album is, in a nutshell, 75 minutes of madrigalian bliss! Rediscover or enjoy anew this central part of English choral culture, strangely out of fashion for so long, sung by a group that has matured into the repertoire like a good wine.