Review By Penguin Guide Key Recording,January 2009
DOWLAND, J.: Lute Music, Vol. 1 (North) – Fancyes, Dreams and Spirits 8.557586
DOWLAND, J.: Lute Music, Vol. 2 (North) – Dowland’s Tears 8.557862
DOWLAND, J.: Lute Music, Vol. 3 (North) – Pavans, Galliards and Almains 8.570449
Review By Michael Ullman,Fanfare,August 2008
This is the third Dowland collection recorded by Nigel North for Naxos. Like its predecessors, it is closely recorded, to an extent that inflates the size of the lute. And, as with the previous volumes, that is the only criticism I have come up with. North is a scholar as well as a wonderful lutenist. Here, he takes works that he believes came in some form from Dowland's hand, as in the Pavalla Doulant, and edits them to produce "another beautiful and serious work, obviously from the heart of the English John Dowland." I can't judge the scholarship, but this does seem like a beautiful and serious work, and we can be grateful to North not only for his playing, but also for the knowledge that allowed him to restore it to us. This series promises to be a rival for the more....
Review By Lesley Sly,Sound & Image (Australia),May 2008
The composer—known as the English Orpheus—is mostly remembered for melancholic undertow, and his dances were written to be listened to, not danced to, but they are intensely melodic and to varying degrees spirited, virtuosic, contemplative, haunting. North captures all this with stunning technique that renders the music so natural it could be improvised, rather than researched.
Review By William Yeoman,Gramophone,March 2008
The suites Dowland never got round to compiling, but they work perfectly
As lutenist Nigel North points out in the booklet-notes to this highly diverting release, the three main dances of the Elizabethan era were the Pavan, Galliard and Almain. In 1604 Dowland published his Lachrimae or Seaven Teares for viol consort with lute, which collection contained all three. But he never brought out anything similar for solo lute. Here, North has done the job for him by forming seven "suites", each featuring dances drawn from Dowland's vast oeuvre for the solo instrument. The results are wholly satisfying.
Review By Jonathan Woolf,MusicWeb International,February 2008
Volume three of Nigel North’s Dowland lute series spins a delightful surprise. The three principal Elizabethan dances – Pavan, Galliard and Almain – are here arranged in suites. Whilst his 1604 Lachrimae contained all three dances this collection was written for viol consort and lute, not solo lute. Once again North is armed with his nine course 2005 lute, tuned to a’= 400. And as before in this series he proves a wonderfully astute and perceptive guide to the repertoire.
Review By Giv Cornfield,The New Recordings, Cliffs Classics,February 2008
Some of Dowland's most popular pieces are included in this excellent anthology of "danceable" compositions. Nigel North plays with great insight and style, and has the benefit of close-up recording in a spacious setting. For those who shy away from "Semper dolens, semper Dowland" melancholic outpourings, this disc offers delightful respite.
Review By Georg Henkel,www.klassik.com,February 2008
TANZ ALS KONTEMPLATION
Wieder darf man sich über eine rundum gelungene Naxos-Folge von Lautenmusik des Englischen Orpheus John Dowland freuen. Die Musik des Shakespeare-Zeitgenossen erfährt zum 3. Mal unter den kundigen Händen von Nigel North eine gleichermaßen lebendige und luzide Darstellung.
Dieses Mal bilden Pavanen, Gagliarden und Allemanden den Schwerpunkt der Produktion. Diese Tanzformen wurden von Dowland zu Medien eines persönlichen Ausdrucks gemacht: Hörstücke, die kaum noch Begleitung zum Tanz sind, dafür zur Kontemplation, zur geistvollen Muße oder – typisch für Dowland und seine Zeit – zur Beschwörung melancholischer Seelenzustände dienen.
Review By ,BBC Music Magazine,February 2008
Review By Rick Jones,Classic FM,February 2008
North continues his project to record all the solo lute music of John Dowland with an album of dances – pavans, galliards and almains – including some known only from continental sources, such as Hamburg's Pavana Johan Douland and Frankfurt's Pavana Doulant. North takes the simple gem Melancholy Galliard a little quickly and it lacks lingering sorrow. He is most expressive in the complex pavan Salus sine sola, most sweetly lyrical in the La Mia Barbara, from the same collection of pavans, and most bracing in the Battle Galliard. North's nine-course lute, built in 2005 by Lars Jonsson, has a bright tone and an unusually polished bass. The mikes are placed close, yielding a pinging attack and amplified creaks and scratches; more....
Review By David Denton, Naxos,December 2007
Born in England around 1563, John Dowland lived at a time when lute music had become extremely fashionable, his life largely spent earning fame and fortune as a performer in European courts. He had lived for some years in France where he embraced the Catholic faith, and it was there that he learnt the refinements that were to colour the instinctive Englishness of his scores. At the time equally famed for his music for voice and lute, it is today his solo lute music by which he is best known. Over a hundred works were preserved for posterity due to the efforts of his son, Robert, who edited his fathers music after his death and saw that it was published. For this third volume in the complete cycle of his lute works, Nigel North has concentrated on the many Almains, which in mood are more....