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Brian Robins
Early Music Review, August 1999

"Like Nicholas Lanier, his younger contemporary, Thomas Campion (1567-1620) is another of those remarkably versatile figures who played a major role in the flourishing secular arts of the Elizabethan and Jacobean eras. ...

The American countertenor Steven Rickards has here chosen 28 of [Campion's] songs, a well-varied selection ranging from religious moralities to the charmingly insouciant Jacke and Joane, a panegyric in praise of simple country life. Campion's approach to the subject of love is in general considerably more light hearted than that of Dowland, and Rickards is particularly successful at brining out the sly insinuation in a song like It fell upon a sommers daie. But his singing is distinguished throughout by a freshness and lack of artifice that admirably suits Campion's direct, uncomplicated style. Diction is very good, too. The lute parts, by no means as complex or demanding as those of Dowland, are sympathetically performed.

It would in fact be idle to suggest Campion's lute songs approach those of his greater contemporary, but the high quality of his poetry, easy melodic appeal, and often humorous approach make them a very appealing antidote to the near-unremitting seriousness of Dowland. Yet another excellent bargain from Naxos."






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11:47:01 AM, 25 December 2014
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