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John Dowland
Clear or Cloudy. Lute songs

Valeria Mignaco
 soprano
Alfonso Marín lute

Up until the end of the 15th century, the lute accompaniment of poetry and song was improvised according to the rhythm of the poem. For that reason it is impossible for us to reconstruct the practice of the time, since no written examples exist. At the end of the 15th century, the Italians developed a way of rendering polyphony on the lute, plucking with the fingers instead of with a quill. This new method allowed existing polyphonic songs (mostly frottole and subsequently madrigals) to be performed by one singer to the accompaniment of the lute, which would play all or some of the remaining voices. This development marked the beginning of the lute-song as a genre that soon began to expand across Europe, a process that continued throughout the 16th century.
England came late to this trend, but embraced it in a way that proved to be more fruitful and influential than in the rest of Europe. This was mainly due to the figure of John Dowland, one of the greatest song composers of any age and the main inspiration behind this recording. Although many lute-song masterpieces were created by Dowland’s contemporaries, none of these composers equals his level of originality, musical quality and sheer sublimity. We have included some pieces by some of the more accomplished composers (Francis Pilkington, Philip Rosseter, Michael Cavendish, Robert Jones, Thomas Campion and Robert Johnson) in order to offer a wider picture of the English lute-song as a genre. 


30.04.2010
American Lute Society, LSA Quarterly
Howard Posner
She is a major-league singer with a beautiful sound and an impressive range of nuance. She and Marin are attuned to the words, letting them dictate the flow of the music and pausing for rhetorical emphasis where needed.
...a program convincingly performed.


27.01.2010
Le Soir
Serge Martin
Après des études à La Haye, la soprano argentine Valeria Mignaco est rapidement remarquée aux Concours de Chimay, Bruges et Berlin. En compagnie du luthiste Alfonso Marin, elle nous propose un délicieux programme de « luth songs » qui, à côté de l’incontournable Dowland, offre des pièces d’autres compositeurs anglais (Cavendish, Holborne, …).


 
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