Classical Music CDs, DVDs

Night Sessions - Dowland Project

John Potter
English tenor John Potter's Dowland Project returns with the album Night Sessions, following In Darkness Let Me Dwell (4652342), Care-Charming Sleep (4760522) and Romaria (4765780) in a highly successful series. From its inception, The Dowland Project has drawn upon different musical traditions including those of 'early music' and improvisation. These "Night Sessions" emphasize the group's improvisational flexibility and resourcefulness, as the musicians create new music in the moment, sometimes with medieval poetry as inspirational reference and guide.

There are also a number of 'daytime' pieces worked up, Potter notes, from small amounts of notation: 'Menino Jesus ? Lappa' is based on Portuguese pilgrim song fragments and 'Theoleptus 22' built around a Byzantine chant. Lute fantasias are taken from Dalza's Intabolatura de Lauto (Venice, 1508) and Attaignant's Tres breve et familiere introduction...a jouer toutes chansons (Paris, 1529). The oldest compositions are Can vei la lauzeta mover - a love song by the 12th century troubadour Bernart de Ventadorn, and Fumeux fume by the 14th century avant-gardist Solage.

Two incarnations of the Dowland Project are heard here, the original band with Potter, lutenist Stephen Stubbs and saxophonist John Surman joined by bassist Barry Guy and baroque violinist Maya Homburger, and the revised line-up with Milos Valent on violin and viola. The sessions were recorded in the wonderful acoustic of the church at the St Gerold monastery in the Austrian Alps.

(Ecm) 002894765968

Track Listing Extract:
1. First descent
2. Menino Jesus ? Lappa
3. Recercar (Joan Ambrosio Dalza)
4. Can vei la lauzeta mover
5. First triage (Bernart de Ventadorn)
6. Man in the moon
7. Corpus Christi
8. Whistling in the dark
9. Swart mekerd smethes
10. Fumeux fume (Solage)
11. Hortus ignotus
12. Mystery play
13. I sing of a maiden
14. Theoleptus 22
15. Second descent
16. Second triage
17. Prelude (Pierre Attaignant)

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