Hopkinson Smith to Perform Concert of Elizabethan Repertoire, 12/10
John Dowland, though also a sprightly and humorous composer, is most famous for the darker side of his character and the pervading melancholy that nourished his unquiet soul. But he was in no way the inventor of highly charged melodic poignancy in solo lute music. Two important composers of the generation of English lutenists that preceded him clearly show signs of great invention including moments of tormented yearnings which led to music of extraordinary depth. John Johnson (died in 1594) and Anthony Holborne (died in 1602) were the most prominent lutenists to remain in England during the Elizabethan period (Dowland spent many years on the Continent). Their œuvre contains rhapsodic Pavans of lyrical intensity and richness of harmony, spirited Galliards, striking character pieces and elaborate variations. They were both virtuosos if the highest calibre as the daring of their diminution techniques attests.
This program will highlight theirs and Dowland's works in an evening of masterpieces from the 1580s and 90s.