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Track(s) taken from CDA67589

When man for sin thy judgment feels

author of text

Robin Blaze (countertenor), Elizabeth Kenny (theorbo)
Recording details: May 2006
All Saints' Church, East Finchley, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Mark Brown
Engineered by Julian Millard
Release date: January 2007
Total duration: 4 minutes 57 seconds


'This is a valuable anthology, carefully conceived and lovingly executed … Robin Blaze is heard mostly at his considerable best … the true foil to Blaze's eloquence is Kenny's sensitive and fluent lute' (Gramophone)

'The Lawes brothers tend to be thought of mainly as composers of instrumental consort music, but this outstanding disc reveals them in a fascinating new light as highly accomplished songwriters … William Lawes's searingly tragic Oh, let me still and silent lie and Henry's darkly atmospheric A Tale out of Anacreon are particularly fine examples of the impassioned declamatory soliloquy … this sensitivity is fully matched by Robin Blaze, in whom the brothers have found their ideal interpreter. His exquisitely controlled expressiveness ensures that the tiniest emotional nuance in text and music makes its best effect' (The Daily Telegraph)

'I find it impossible to imagine better exponents of this idiomatic music than Robin Blaze and Elizabeth Kenny. Blaze has many gifts: not only a perfectly-tuned and controlled voice, but one that is intrinsically beautiful, and an unsurpassed vehicle for English words … Kenny backs him up perfectly, providing a great deal more than simply accompaniment: like Blaze, she can paint every note in a different colour, contributing enormously to the story-tellng and to the beauty of these performances. The dark tones of her theorbo are a wonderful support to his voice. She also contributes scholarly and fascinating programme notes' (Early Music Review)

'Blaze's countertenor voice is unfailingly a delight to hear in this quasi-Italianate repertoire' (International Record Review)

'This delicious survey gives a fair idea of the brothers' range, extending from William Lawes' simple Gather your rosebuds to Henry's limpid Sweet Echo … suavely and sensually performed by Blaze and Kenny … the disc offers an exquisite image of a little-understood era' (The Independent on Sunday)

'This excellent CD highlights the unjustly neglected musical legacy of two of England's most influential seventeenth-century composers … the appeal of this recording … lies in the ensemble's sensitivity to the poetry that is at the foundation of this music. Furthermore, it is not only Robin Blaze and his trademark musical eloquence that makes us truly feel the poignant nuances interwoven into the tapestry of the Lawes songs. In Kenny's hands, her instruments speak with equal persuasiveness, creating a rich continuo texture that amplifies and extends the music's emotional content' (Goldberg)

'On this engaging tour of the melancholy but colourful world of the Lawes brothers we are conducted by alto Robin Blaze and lutenist Elizabeth Kenny, both at the height of their powers. Blaze soars with ease throughout the alto range while Kenny's sympathetic accompanimnet is a model of its kind' (Early Music Forum of Scotland News, Scotland)

'This is music of the utmost fragility and nostalgia and one has to take profound care with the harmonic gentleness and hidden nuances of these unique treasures. All singers and instrumentalists lend wonderful support with the contributions of Robin Blaze and Elizabeth Kenny particularly arresting. Another excellent issue for the Lawes discography which as expected is beautifully recorded and presented' (Classical.net)

'This is a magnificent disc … it compels interest and feeling throughout … listening to this CD encapsulates this experience of a vanishing supremacy. Beauty, transience, mourning. Et in Arcadia ego. Robin Blaze is by now the doyen of English counter-tenors, Elizabeth Kenny a fine luteinist (as well as universally loved in her profession). Blaze sings with magnificent diction; Kenny’s lute-playing is expressive and sympathetic. The supporting cast, especially Rebecca Outram (soprano) is also excellent … this Hyperion production is the real thing' (MusicalPointers.co.uk)
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