Dowland done differently

Dowland's In Darkness Let Me Dwell is stripped down to just a lute and vocal lending the piece an other-worldly feel.

Composer: Dowland
Repertoire:  In Darkness Let Me Dwell
Artists: Dorothee Mields (soprano), Hille Perl (viol), Lee Santana (lute), Sirius Viols
Rating:  4/5
Genre: Vocal/Instrumental
Label: Deutsche Harmonia Mundi 88697 22502-2

If you’ve recently discovered Dowland’s songs through Sting, this approach couldn’t be more different; likewise, if you’re used to a simple lute and voice treatment, the cushion of sound provided by the viol consort adds an other-worldly dimension to these melancholy miniatures. Mields’s expressive approach is clearly influenced by Emma Kirkby; her diction is perfect but sometimes she’s a little cool. Perl’s sweet, reedy viol leads the ensemble through the dancing cross-rhythms of the instrumental pieces, Santana’s soft-fingered lute is closely recorded – let’s hope it’s only his chair we can hear creaking.