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Tunes for a Monday Morning

Lady Playing a Lute by Bartolomeo Vento (1502–31)

On a cold and quiet morning here in Devon, let's start the week with the music of Renaissance composer, lutenist, and singer John Dowland.

Above: Dowland's "Now, O Now I Needs Must Part" (from The First Book Of Songs Or Ayres, 1597) performed by Les Canards Chantants (Sarah Holland, Robin Bier, Edd Ingham, Graham Bier). The group was founded in England in 2011, and is now based in Philadelphia. 

Below: Dowland's "Can She Excuse My Wrongs" (from The First Booke of Songes or Ayres, 1597) performed by Vivid Consort (Christine Gnigler, Sheng-Fang Chiu, Lorina Vallaster) with lutenist David Bergmüller. Vivid Consort is an Early Music trio based in Vienna.

Above: Dowland's "Lachrimae" (fromLachrimæ or seaven teares, 1604) performed by Christopher Morrongiello, a British lutenist and music scholar based in New York. The video was filmed in the Chapel from Le Château de la Bastie d’Urfé at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. 

Below: Dowland's "Go Nightly Cares" (from A Pilgrimes Solace, 1612) performed by Amarylli (Hannah Grove, vocals, and Elizabeth Pallett, lute), a fine British duo specialising in the repertoire for lute and voice from the 16th and 17th centuries. 

Above:  a modern interpretation of Dowland's "Come Again" (from The First Book Of Songs Or Ayres, 1597) performed by singer Lena Kuchling and electric bassist Georg Buxhofer, both from Austria. The video was filmed at Schloss Pielach in Melk in 2020.

Below Dowland's "Tarleton's Jig" (written in memory of Richard Tarleton, a comic actor of the Elizabethan age) performed on baroque oboe, baroque violin and baroque harp by Spirit & Pleasure (Monika Nielen, Christoph Mayer, Johanna Seitz), from Germany.  

Illustration by Arthur Rackham

The art above is "Lady Playing a Lute" by Bartolomeo Vento (1502–31) and a book decoration by Arthur Rackham (1867-1939).