Friday, August 1, 2014

Paul O'Dette, My Favorite Dowland, Lute Music of John Dowland

I sometimes agonize over where best to put a review posting. Where would it have the most impact? Which set of readers needs to know about this release over and above the others? It's never easy but I am confident that today's post here is where it belongs. John Dowland (1563-1626) was hands-down the master of composing for the lute. His lute pieces span the centuries and speak to us as vividly and touchingly as ever. Anyone who either plays or loves to hear the guitar should have exposure to the lute classics, partly because they are a treasure, partly because the musical techniques and melodic brilliance of great lute music should be heard for the insights they give on what is possible on a fretboard.

So given that, I must also say that lutenist Paul O'Dette is one of our contemporary masters, a player of nearly infinite poise and expressivity. So when he records My Favorite Dowland (Harmonia Mundi 907515), it is an occasion.

My expectations were high when I first put this one on, and I was not disappointed. This is a wonderful compilation of extraordinary lute music, played with the masterful touch of Paul O'Dette.

Now I am not the guy to tell you what to do, but this would be an indispensable volume for anybody who reads this column with any regularity. It's a gem of brilliance! I testify to it. It glows as it gives you the Dowland lute complexities and genius the way they were meant to flow. Kudos!

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