The songs of John Dowland (1563-1626)
Lutenist John Dowland is considered to be one of the best songwriters of all time and his lyrics speak as eloquently to listeners today as it did 400 years ago. In the genre of the lute song, he was unparalleled for his rhythmic and melodic innovation as well as the virtuosity required for his lute accompaniment. The programme contains our favourite songs from his first, second and third Bookes of Songes and Ayres, interspersed with short talks about the use of lute songs in the politics and society of Queen Elizabeth I’s court. Audiences will enjoy the contrasts between lively court dances and moments of profound Petrarchan melancholy.