Dowland's last book of songs includes some of the finest, most sensitively wrought music for lute and voice in any language, and certainly represents the pinnacle of the English lute song. Dowland, who identified himself as “Jo: Dolandi de Lachrimae”, advanced a musical persona that was strongly linked with Elizabethan melancholy, and the familiar ‘Lachrimae' falling tear motif is found hidden somewhere in the texture of nearly every song on this recording. The notable feature of intricate writing for obbligato treble viol on three songs makes A Pilgrimes Solace a groundbreaking publication, despite the contemporary claim that Dowland's music was outdated.
When we first began our collaborative concentration on music for voice and lute, some of the very first repertoire we performed included part-songs from A Pilgrimes Solace. Published in 1612, music from this book is a capstone of Dowland's output; a mature artistic summation of one of the greatest composers of English song. Now entering our tenth year as a duo, we return to this music with a mature appreciation for the texts Dowland selected and a deeper understanding of his compositional skill.
A Pilgrimes Solace also includes the earliest published example of English song scored for voice, lute and independent obbligato instrumental parts, and we are are delighted have have been joined on this project by two sensitive instrumentalists, guest artists Alex Korolov and Alexander Rakov on treble & bass viols.