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Paul Beier : What If A Day – Dowland : CD

DOWLAND: What If A Day, Or a Month, or a Year P79; Fantasia No1 P10; Pavan P18;Captain Digorie Piper’s Galiard P19; Loth to Depart P69; Forlorne Hope Fancye P2; Lachrimae No11 Sir John Langton’s Pavin P14; Can She Excuse P42 The Earl of Essex Galiard (arr. for solo Lute); Go From My Window P64 (arr. for lute); A Fancy P7; Dowland’s Adew for Master Oliver Cromwell P13 (arr. for solo Lute); Robin is to the Greenwood Gone P70; Mrs Vaux Galliard P32; Farewell P3; Pavane ‘Lachrime’ P16; Mrs Vaux Gigge P57; A Galliard on Walsingham P31; Tarleton’s Riserrectione P59.

Paul Beier ; Renaissance Lute

Stradivarius: STR 37128

American Lutenist Paul Beier has here picked perhaps the most well – known and important Lute music composer whose multitude of pieces easily fit onto 5 CDs as evidenced by Paul O’Dette’s full set on Harmonia Mundi, or 4 CDs as on Nigel North’s set on Naxos, to name but two. The essence of Dowland’s music is most commonly its sadness and even when the music is quite fast, the feeling of aching loss and depression is uppermost, which is not to criticize the music or the playing in any way, but the sound of the Renaissance Lute in Dowland’s music is perhaps something that you don’t necessarily play all the way through at once, brilliant though it is.

There are many of the favourites here that any Lute admirer will perhaps know, and Beier doesn’t disappoint for the most part, although there were one or two small place where I thought the end result was not as clean as perhaps it could be. This is nit- picking though, and generally the playing is fine, the recording perfectly natural and therefore this is probably a recording that Dowland and/or Lute lovers will find absolutely wonderful.

Chris Dumigan

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