Fire - Passion in English Lute Song

English lute and continuo songs on the theme of fire

This program begins in Elizabethan England with compositions born at a pinnacle in the culture of song: a period of poetic excellence and musical inventiveness that rivals any of the ages to come. John Dowland, one of the greatest lute virtuosos and composers active around 1600, created masterworks at this time such as „Flow my teares“ (or the Lachrimae) and poet/composers of the stature of Thomas Campion wrote prolifically and set their own lyrics to music. One such musical and poetic gem by Campion, „Fire, fire“, was taken up by composer Nicolas Lanier and set 20 years later in the new, very flexible continuo style of the early 1600‘s. In presenting both versions of the song, first by Campion and then by Lanier, this program highlights the dynamic changes which were taking place in England between approximately 1580 and 1630. From polyphonically conceived English Lute Songs as Dowland and Thomas Campion composed them to the continuo songs of William and Henry Lawes, Lanier, and Robert Johnson is a leap which came from the influence of the Italians. The first half of the program concerns itself with the earlier songs contrasting with instrumental pieces for the lute. In the second half of the concert the new continuo style is presented, broken up by lively instrumental dances.

Fire of love and hot desire....

Strongly united around the theme of fire, this program also contrasts two very distinct but related styles from the Golden Age of Elizabethan Lute Song to the later continuo age.

Joel Frederiksen - Bass, Lute and Archlute / Or as a full program with seven musicians: Joel Frederiksen – bass, lute, archlute, and musical direction / Sabine Lutzenberger – soprano, recorder / Axel Wolf – lute, theorbo / Ryosuke Sakamoto – lute, theorbo, flute / Karen Walthinsen – violine / Domen Marincic – viola da gamba / Bruno Caillat – percussion

Related Program: "The Flaming Fire" with Hille and Marthe Perl and Timothy Leigh Evans


David Skudlik