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Hyperion Records

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Track(s) taken from CDH55241
Recording details: February 1990
Tudeley Church, Tonbridge, Kent, United Kingdom
Produced by Robert King & Ben Turner
Engineered by Antony Howell
Release date: March 1991
Total duration: 5 minutes 16 seconds

'Restores a dimension of beauty that is often sacrificed in present day performances … happy the family that spent its leisure hours with this music, and happy the owner of this disc' (The Good CD Guide)

'James Bowman’s usual ease of tone is in full evidence here. He gives us meltingly sweet, gorgeous, resonant high notes, and fluidity of vocal line. Meanwhile, David Miller’s lute playing is sensitive and agile. Whether pleading for God’s redemption or wooing a lover, both singer and lutenist capture the word painting which is such a feature and strength of these songs. This is one to savour' (bbc.co.uk)

Now, oh now I needs must part
composer
1597; A Firste Booke of Songes or Ayres; tune from The Frogs Galliard
author of text

Other recordings available for download
Mark Padmore (tenor), Elizabeth Kenny (lute)
Ian Partridge (tenor), Jakob Lindberg (lute)
The Camerata of London
Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
Sometimes there is a tension between words and music that disrupts the ‘perfect balance’ for which lute-song composers are famous. This must have been deliberate. Now, O now, I needs must part is a good example. Few at the time, and certainly no one now, could say for certain whether there was any love involved in the duc d’Alençon’s unsuccessful suit of Elizabeth I. The Frog Galliard was associated with d’Alençon’s departure, and Now, O now put words to the tune. Elizabeth’s letters show that he wasn’t entirely convinced about her age. She disliked his pockmarked appearance; and they both felt aggrieved that the blandishments of love hadn’t produced enough hard cash to cement a marriage settlement. The jaunty triple metre may be intended to parody the supposed lovers’ sense of their own tragic misfortune or to reflect a courtship that had become something of a public farce, but the words and the nostalgia of the setting are unexpectedly moving.

from notes by Elizabeth Kenny © 2008


Other albums featuring this work
'Dowland: Lute Songs; Britten: Nocturnal' (CDA67648)
Dowland: Lute Songs; Britten: Nocturnal
'Dowland & Campion: It fell on a summer's day' (CDH88011)
Dowland & Campion: It fell on a summer's day
MP3 £4.99FLAC £4.99ALAC £4.99Buy by post £13.99 (ARCHIVE SERVICE) CDH88011  Helios (Hyperion's budget label) — Archive Service  
'English Ayres and Duets' (CDA66003)
English Ayres and Duets

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