In English Renaissance collections of music, the term ‘lessons’ is often used to describe instrumental pieces, even though they aren’t pedagogical exercises as such. But as Jonas Nordberg writes in an introduction to his new disc ‘there remains much in them to be studied’. John Dowland is one of the composers whose music was a driving force of the Early Music revival already at the beginning of the 20th century. He has also played a central role in the rediscovery of the lute itself, an ongoing process which began more than a hundred years ago.
Like many other musicians, Jonas Nordberg is continuously exploring the intimate relationship between a score and the instrument it was written for: ‘The pieces by Dowland on this album contain an entire musical universe, in which I have spent many years, discovering new layers of meaning. In that way these lessons – in combination with the instrument on which I play them – have also been my teachers. So it is a great pleasure to invite you to share them with me, and to explore for yourselves the rich combination of melancholy, joy and beauty to be found in these works.’