My Lord Chamberlain’s Consort

Sunday, September 22, 2013

A Pilgrim’s Solace: Dowland’s Last Book

MY LORD CHAMBERLAIN’S CONSORT to Honor John Dowland’s 450th Birthday with a Complete Performance of His Final Book

Time:              3 pm

Tickets:          At the door - $15/$10

Ensemble Members:

Philip Anderson, tenor                                                  Pat O’Brien, lute and cittern
Grant Herreid, baritone, lute, viol, recorder                            Andy Rutherford, lute
Rosamund Morley, viols                                                           Marcia Young, voice and harp


On Sunday, September 22 at 3:00 pm, My Lord Chamberlain’s Consort will present a complete performance of A Pilgrim’s Solace (1612), the last published lute book of John Dowland (1563-1626).  The concert is presented in honor of Dowland’s 450th birthday.

The Consort completes a cycle with this performance, having in previous years given 400-year publication anniversary performances of Dowland’s first (1597), second (1600), and third (1603) books. Many scholars hold A Pilgrim’s Solace to be the finest of the Elizabethan master’s four song collections.

The final book shows the full range of Dowland’s achievement in the lute-song medium, with the daring chromatics, text sensitivity, and subtle rhythmic play that mark all his work. The songs, both sacred and secular, are extremely high in quality and widely varying in style, text, and performing forces.  Some are solo airs with lute and bass. Others are cast for two, four, or five voices plus treble and bass viol as well as lute.  Several songs show Dowland’s familiarity with the declamatory Italian style that had caught English imaginations at this time. One song, “Lasso vita mia,” a classic Dowland lament, is set in the Italian language with abundant musical word-play based on the syllables of solfeggio sight-singing. “Thou mighty God” is a vast tripartite “moral song” in four voices, with a text that cites Biblical tales.

About the Ensemble:

My Lord Chamberlain’s Consort was formed in 1997 to give a 400th anniversary performance of Dowland’s First Book of Ayres. The Consort has won praise for its refined ensemble singing, the variety and originality of its vocal and instrumental arrangements, and its lively and entertaining approach to the Elizabethan repertoire.