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Saturday morning quotes 7.29: Dowland looms large

November 16, 2019

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“How hard an enterprise it is, in this skillfull and curious age, to commit our priuate labours to the publike viewe…”

– John Dowland, “To the courteous Reader”, The First Booke of Songs or Ayres, 1597.

We are back for a brief post after having had an unexpectedly full schedule over the summer.  The locale of our particular corner of the US having been dealt a miserly measure of a much diminished autumn, we are now plunged headlong into an even busier and already brutally cold winter season.  But we take the time to share with our readers a few significant news items related to Dowland, old and new.

Mignarda’s 2013 release of Dowland’s A Pilgrimes Solace continues to garner a bit of attention, despite our complete and utter neglect in promoting the album.  The CD features a selection of Mignarda’s personal favorites from Dowland’s last book of songs with the participation of bowed strings by Alex Korolov and Alexander Rakov and an introductory essay by the late Edward Doughtie.  We are very pleased to announce that the CD was selected as a reference recording in the new book by K. Dawn Grapes, John Dowland: A Research and Information Guide, Routledge Music Bibliographies, New York, 2019.  The book is a much needed guide to currently available music editions and literature focused on the most influential historical lutenist composer, John Dowland, and includes a numbered catalog of works, a discography, an annotated bibliography of secondary sources, all thoroughly indexed.

Having just completed the first in a new series of music editions titled The Mignarda Songbook, we are now hard at work producing a new performing edition of Dowland’s complete corpus of lute songs.  More on this in the near future. We are also returning to the recording studio and are now in the process of recording more songs by Dowland and his English contemporaries.

As we refocus our attention on the music of Dowland, and on this blog, we offer the rather easy challenge of guessing the title of the first Dowland song we recorded during our Monday session?

 

2 Comments
  1. Let’s see… could it be Unquiet Thoughts?

  2. Bingo! You guessed it. This is a wonderful song and justifiably takes pride of place in Dowland’s First Booke. We have very little perspective from 400 years hence but, not only was Dowland’s table-book layout revolutionary, but the style of composition was incredibly advanced for 1597. We look forward to releasing our recording soon.

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