• chrisdumigan

Jakob Lindberg : Dowland - The complete solo lute music :CD

Updated: Jul 17, 2021

DOWLAND : 92 tracks

Jakob Lindberg :

BIS : 722 – CD ( 4 CD set)

At 4 hours 21 minutes, this 4 CD set offers the complete solo works by , if not the most well – known , the one of most well – known lutenist player/ composers. Interestingly what purports to be the complete works differs, depending on whose ‘complete’ set you happen to have. For example Nigel North on Naxos has a 4 CD set totaling 86 tracks, whereas Paul O’Dette’s 5 CD Harmonia Mundi set has no less than 111 tracks! The trouble is often where the 400 + year old manuscripts are sometimes not signed, and so certain artists/ historians make, often, very knowledgeable assumptions that that unsigned piece is Dowland, but there are many complicated factors, in the way the sets differ, that I am not going to go into now, but rather now concentrate on the set in front of me.

The sources for this collection are several, firstly from Robert Dowland, Varietie of Lute Lessons, London 1610 and then from his A Musicall Banquet, London 1610.Several are from Cambridge University Library, and even from John Dowland’s own A Pilgrimes Solace, London 1612.There are numerous other sources , namely, The Marsh Lute Book, The Mynshall Lute Book, William Barley, A New Booke of Tabliture for the Lute and Orpharion, London 1596, The Wickhambrook Lute Book, The Euing Lute Book, The Jane Pickering Lute Book, The Margaret Board Lute Book, The Schele Lute Book, The Hainhofer Lute Book, Johann Daniel Mylius, Thesaurus Gratiarum, Frankfurt 1622 and finally The Dowland Lute Book. But it is the playing that really shows just how wonderful a writer Dowland was, and one wonders after 400 years just how many more pieces are still to be found, if any, or how many have been lost over time? It could be a vast amount!

It should surely go without saying that the musicianship, the recorded quality and the general performances are wonderfully done, and to be honest Dowland hardly if ever wrote a boring piece, or a second rate one, and that is one of the reasons that this set is so successful.

Definitely one that should be in your collection, possibly along with one or two of the other sets, because they are considerably different!

Chris Dumigan

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