8 June 2016
BBC Radio 3 'Record Review'
Lachrimae antiquae - old tears, the first of John Dowlands seven Lachrimae in the new recording from viol consort Phantasm and lutenist Elizabeth Kenny; the most deliciously melancholy sound, and Dowland's deceptively simple musical lines and harmonic progressions laid bare for us with such care and understanding - the sighs and falling tears so delicately etched and articulated. If you didn't already know the words from Dowland's songs, you could almost recreate them from the playing. Seven lachrimae, then the Galliards - the leaping dances favoured as morning exercise by Elizabeth the 1st - the Almans and Pavans from Dowland's manuscript, made to work as a sequence, not just as individual numbers...listening to this recording end-to-end is an absolute pleasure. The recording is a beauty as well: rich, intimate, and especially airy in surround. Dowland's Lachrimae from Phantasm and Elizabeth Kenny is officially released this coming Friday, but it's already there to download on the Linn Records website...excellent notes as well, and pictures of the original print of the Lachrimae purchased by Magdalen College Oxford last year, no doubt at Laurence Dreyfus's urging...!