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Love Bade Me Welcome - Renaissance Love Songs

BBC Music Magazine: outstanding; Klassik Heute: outstanding.

For as long as man has created works of art, love and its attendant joys and pain has provided subject matter to a great part of them. One Golden Age for songs and poems about love was the 16th century in England, where Shakespeare, Dowland and many others sang to the glory of their lovers, loved ones and Love itself, while never forgetting the grief which almost certainly follows the passion. On this disc, counter-tenor Daniel Taylor and the Theatre of Early Music (also on the much praised BIS-CD-1346: Leçons de Ténèbres) have devised a programme which includes both songs and poems showing the many faces of Love, as painted by poets and composers in the years between 1560-1630. The musicians are joined by the acclaimed Shakespearean actor Ralph Fiennes, known from films such as Schindler’s List, The English Patient and The Constant Gardener, who recites poems by Shakespeare, Sir Walter Raleigh, Ben Jonson, Thomas Campion and others. These poems intersperse a collection of songs, duets and instrumental pieces by Dowland, Robert Jones and Robert Johnson.

James Bowman, appearing on BIS for the first time, has had an unparallelled career. He was the very first counter-tenor to appear at Glyndeborne (in 1971) and has since visited most of the world's major opera houses. He and Daniel Taylor have explored the English lute songs before, together and on their own. Here they are joined by experts in this particular field: Frances Kelly, Elizabeth Kenny and Mark Levy have all made their reputations in this repertoire, both as soloists and in various ensembles. Together the six performers make Love Bade Me Welcome a unique disc: at turns bitter-sweet, tragic, joyful, full of hope and disillusion – just like Love itself!
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  Robert Jones
01 Though your strangeness for duet, harp, lute and gamba 4'06
  Robert Jones
02 My complaining is but feighing for duet, harp, lute and gamba 1'33
  George Herbert
03 Love (recitation) 1'12
  Robert Jones
04 Once did I serve a cruel heart for duet, harp, lute and gamba 2'24
  Robert Johnson
05 Lady Hatton´s almain for harp 1'35
  Robert Jones
06 Sweet Kate for duet, harp, lute and gamba 1'42
  William Shakespeare
07 When in disgrace with fortune and men´s eyes (recitation) 1'09
  Robert Jones
08 What if I seek for love of thee? for voice and lute 1'55
  Sir Walter Raleigh
09 In the grace of wit, of tongue, and face (recitation) 1'20
  John Dowland
10 Flow, my tears for voice, harp, lute and gamba 3'39
  William Shakespeare
11 When to the sessions of sweet silent thought (recitation) 1'13
  Robert Jones
12 Lie down, poor heart for voice, harp, lute and viola da gamba 6'26
  Ben Jonson
13 Slow, slow, fresh fount (recitation) 1'00
14 Zouch his march for harp and lute 2'14
  John Dowland
15 Say love if ever thou didst find for voice and lute 1'46
  John Dowland
16 Lachrimae for lute 5'13
  Francis Quarles
17 Sighs (If our sad eyes) (recitation) 7'48
  John Dowland
18 Me, me and none but me for voice and lute 3'15
  John Dowland
19 Come again: Sweet love for voice, harp, lute and gamba 3'43
  Thomas Campion
20 Now winter nights enlarge (recitation) 1'18
  Robert Jones
21 And is it night? for voice, harp and gamba 5'30
  Robert Jones
22 Grief of my best love´s absenting for voice and lute 4'49
  William Shakespeare
23 So am I as rich whose blessed key (recitation) 1'11
  Robert Johnson
24 The second witches dance for harp and lute 1'51
  Thomas Campion
25 Follow the fair sun (recitation) 1'13
  Robert Jones
26 Hark! Wot ye what? for duet, harp, lute and gamba 4'19
  Abraham Cowley
27 The given heart (recitation) 1'23
  Album total 75'51
Campion, Thomas
Cowley, Abraham
Dowland, John
Herbert, George
Johnson, Robert
Jones, Robert
Jonson, Ben
Quarles, Francis
Raleigh, Sir Walter
Shakespeare, William
GambaLevy, Mark
Counter-tenorBowman, James
Taylor, Daniel
HarpKelly, Frances
LuteKenny, Elisabeth
EnsembleTheatre of Early Music
RecitationFiennes, Ralph

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