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Robert Johnson lute solos and songs

Carolyn Sampson soprano Mark Levy bass viol Matthew Wadsworth lute

Almans. Fantasia. Pavans - F minor;C minor (x 2) As I walked forth. Away delights. Care-charming sleep. Come, heavy sleep. Come hither, you that love. Hark, hark! the lark. Have you seen the bright lily grow?. How wretched is the state. O let us howl. Tell me dearest. Where the bee sucks. Woods, rocks and mountains. Galliard. Almain I. Almain II. Gypies Metamorphosed - The Gypsies Song With endless tears.

Avie New CD AV2053 (65 mins, 2003/4)

Scholarship and sensitive musicianship combine in this CD devoted to Robert Johnson (c.1583-1633), last of the great English lutenists, who was a composer comparable to the better known Dowland on the evidence of this recorded programme.

Matthew Wadsworth, who plays throughout,
is partnered by Carolyn Sampson and this is one of the most satisfying CDs of her singing I have come across, conveying moods as well as purity of tone. The songs tend to fashionable melancholy, with instrumental accompaniment varied with support on viol, which gives textural variety through this well judged programme.

Plucked instruments record perfectly and the lute is the ideal instrument for late night listening before bed, whether alone as in Louis Pernot's explorations of the Gaultier cousins, or combined with voice as in the recordings of Matthew Wadsworth, England's star of the younger generation following Bream and Rooley.

Recording and presentation (research and notes by Matthew Wadsworth) are exemplary with unfussy print, good sized & black on white. Recommended, and equally Wadsworth's latest of Philip Rosseter.

© Peter Grahame Woolf