[complete] Larchimae

Album cover art for upc 3760014199448
Label: ALPHA
Catalog: ALPHA944

Musicall Humors

‘London, April 1604. With the freshly printed partbooks of his Lachrimæ under his arm, John Dowland walks from the printing house to his home in Fetter Lane. He should have been back in Denmark long ago, but for the moment all his thoughts are on the new publication he is carrying, his latest and most ambitious work to date: a complete cycle of instrumental music, twenty-one dances, honourably dedicated to Anne of Denmark, Queen of England.’ For Dowland has just completed one of the greatest masterpieces of Renaissance music. He had left England to enter the service of the Danish court, disappointed at not being appointed court composer to Elizabeth I, but he seems to have made the best of all his setbacks to compose this magnificent collection of purely instrumental works, much of it bathed in the melancholy typical of late sixteenth-century England. Musicall Humors – a collective of the finest gambists of their generation – performs the complete set of pavans, galliards and ‘almands’, grouped into suites, each with its own character. A character inspired by the music, but reinforced here by the changing composition of the consort and the players taking turns to perform the ‘top line’, so that each musician’s personal playing style gives each piece a specific colour.

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