2 Jun 2013

John Dowland (1563-1626)

From Composer of the Week, 9:00 am on 2 June 2013
Woman playing lute

Woman playing lute Photo: Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons


In 1612 John Dowland claimed to be entering his 50th year – so we assume he was born in 1563. From an artisan background, music led Dowland into an entirely different world where he was respected and enjoyed the friendship of princes and nobles.

Yet he was for many years unable to secure a position at the English court. Perhaps it may have been the source of his reputation for being miserable and melancholy, especially given his being a Catholic resident of England.


Peter Watts takes us through his journey as a composer and lutenist in Europe and we sample some of his most sumptuous works along the way.

Music details:

Semper Dowland, semper dolens – Julian Bream (RCA RD89977)
If my complaints – The Consort of Musicke (Florilegium DSLO 508-9)
My Lady Hundson’s Puffe – Julian Bream (RCA RD89977)
The Most Sacred Queen Elizabeth her Galliard – Elizabeth Thodey (RLT-CD-3)
Burst forth my teares – The Consort of Musicke (Florilegium DSLO 508-9)
Come away, come sweet love – The Consort of Musicke (Florilegium DSLO 508-9)
Mister Dowlands Midnight – The English Orpheus (Virgin VC7 90768-2)
Sorrow Stay – The English Orpheus (Virgin VC7 90768-2)
Flow my teares – The Camerata of London (Hyperion WR 9126)
Lachrymae Gementes – The Parley of Instruments/Peter Holman (Hyperion CDH 55339)
Thou mighty God – The English Orpheus (Virgin VC7 90768-2)
Come again – Joshua Bell (vln), Sting (vox) (Sony 88697-55436-2)


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