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Jed Distler
ClassicsToday.com, December 2009

…North applies varied vibratos to the melodic line. The warm ambience and detailed presence of Naxos’ engineering makes an immediate and lasting impact. If you already own Volumes 1 through 3, chances are you’ve already bought this release. If not, then why not?



William Yeoman
Gramophone, August 2009

Nigel North brings his four-volume survey of the solo lute music of John Dowland to a ringing close…the art of lute-playing at its most refined and sensitive…Here again North is unhurried yet radiantly wing both in terms of his ideas and their execution, more willing than Paul O’Dette and Jakob Lindberg in their respective Dowland editions to adjust tempo to temperament as the need arises. Yet he is as technically assured as both: listen, for example, to the precision and delicacy of Complaint and Aloe or to the crisp, lightly skipping phrases of the Coranto.



Ardella Crawford
American Record Guide, July 2009

Here is a foundational collection of Dowland’s lute music, the fourth in a series that has been garnering very good reviews. This program, as North himself writes in the notes, is all about “song and dance”; nearly everything here is a galliard, which was, North speculates on the grounds of very good evidence, Dowland’s favorite form.

As with North’s other recordings, some of what we have here has been arranged by the lutenist himself. I highly recommend collecting this series because it is excellent in every way. It is very easy to find a program of Dowland’s works; it is more difficult than you might think to find the lute songs played simply with solo lute. Many people either record the songs that are for voice accompanied by lute or else they add in other instruments. It is also easy to find programs of various songs, but it is more difficult to find any systematic attempt to record them all in several volumes.

This release has many of the familiar Dowland galliards, such as the Frog Galliard, and a few other familiar tunes, such as ‘Come Away’ and ‘Go From My Window’. The playing is reflective; sound is very good.



Brian Wilson
MusicWeb International, May 2009

Here is a foundational collection of Dowland’s lute music, the fourth in a series that has been garnering very good reviews. This program, as North himself writes in the notes, is all about “song and dance”; nearly everything here is a galliard, which was, North speculates on the grounds of very good evidence, Dowland’s favorite form.

As with North’s other recordings, some of what we have here has been arranged by the lutenist himself. I highly recommend collecting this series because it is excellent in every way. It is very easy to find a program of Dowland’s works; it is more difficult than you might think to find the lute songs played simply with solo lute. Many people either record the songs that are for voice accompanied by lute or else they add in other instruments. It is also easy to find programs of various songs, but it is more difficult to find any systematic attempt to record them all in several volumes.

This release has many of the familiar Dowland galliards, such as the Frog Galliard, and a few other familiar tunes, such as ‘Come Away’ and ‘Go From My Window’. The playing is reflective; sound is very good.



Brian Wilson
MusicWeb International, May 2009

Here is a foundational collection of Dowland’s lute music, the fourth in a series that has been garnering very good reviews. This program, as North himself writes in the notes, is all about “song and dance”; nearly everything here is a galliard, which was, North speculates on the grounds of very good evidence, Dowland’s favorite form.

As with North’s other recordings, some of what we have here has been arranged by the lutenist himself. I highly recommend collecting this series because it is excellent in every way. It is very easy to find a program of Dowland’s works; it is more difficult than you might think to find the lute songs played simply with solo lute. Many people either record the songs that are for voice accompanied by lute or else they add in other instruments. It is also easy to find programs of various songs, but it is more difficult to find any systematic attempt to record them all in several volumes.

This release has many of the familiar Dowland galliards, such as the Frog Galliard, and a few other familiar tunes, such as ‘Come Away’ and ‘Go From My Window’. The playing is reflective; sound is very good.



Alison Melville
The WholeNote, April 2009

The fourth and final CD of a series devoted to John Dowland’s lute music, this disc’s program of galliards, corants and Elizabethan song tunes offers an affectionate and intriguing glimpse into the musical development of this brilliant composer. Though Dowland’s familiar pensive spirit is rarely out of sight, its reflection through the prism of dance and song makes for delightful listening of a more lively kind, especially in the expert musical hands of Nigel North.

This CD is replete with great tunes expertly played. Several of the composer’s earlier and less familiar galliards can be heard here, of which John Dowland’s Galliard is a particular gem; also included are some of his most famous, such as the Frog Galliard, which receives an elegantly spry performance. Also offered are various lute song and broadside ballad tunes set for lute alone, including Can she excuse, Lord Willoughby’s welcome home, Fortune my foe, Goe from my window and other Shakespeare-era chart-toppers. North also performs his own particularly beautiful version of Francis Cutting’s Awake sweet love.

Besides his exemplary playing, North’s readable notes provide much helpful and interesting information. And the recorded sound on this disc is beautiful.

Congrats to Naxos for their support of Dowland’s remarkable music, as played by one of his most excellent champions.



Lawson Taitte
The Dallas Morning News, April 2009

We’ve had several sets of John Dowland’s lute music, but the latest may well be the best. Nigel North, who broke ground several decades ago in accompanying the first version of the complete songs, has sterling credentials. This fourth and final volume of the lute music crowns his new solo set.

Most of the pieces this time around are catchy dance music, including some of the Renaissance master’s greatest hits—“The Frog Galliard,” “Loth to Depart” and North’s own transcription of “Come Again, Sweet Love.” The lute’s plucked sound is less resonant than a guitar’s, but North makes it sweet and appealing. He’s a virtuoso, but his rhythmic sense is bound to set toes to tapping.

If you don’t know this music, start here and work the series backward. If you already love it, grab up all four volumes. [Vol 1 - 8.557586; Vol 2 - 8.557862; Vol 3 - 8.570449]



Lawson Taitte
GuideLive.com, April 2009

Most of the pieces this time around are catchy dance music, including some of the Renaissance master’s greatest hits—“The Frog Galliard,” “Loth to Depart” and North’s own transcription of “Come Again, Sweet Love.” The lute’s plucked sound is less resonant than a guitar’s, but North makes it sweet and appealing. He’s a virtuoso, but his rhythmic sense is bound to set toes to tapping.

If you don’t know this music, start here and work the series backward. If you already love it, grab up all four volumes.



Giv Cornfield
The New Recordings, Cliffs Classics, April 2009

Pure, unadulterated joy! The fourth (and alas) final volume of Nigel North’s traversal of Dowland’s cycle consists of 25 pieces, among them some of the composer’s best known and popular tunes. Here, the fortunate listener will encounter old friends such as Walsingham, The Frog Galliard, Awake Sweet Love (in the original plus North’s new version), and two dozen more, for a full hour of musical bliss. I hope that this artist will grace the Naxos catalogue with many more of his delightful renditions!



David Denton
David's Review Corner, March 2009

Rarely does a series of recordings achieve such unqualified universal acclaim, this being the fourth and final volume in Nigel North’s traversal of John Dowland’s music for lute. Born into the 16th century period when music for the instrument had become extremely fashionable in the upper echelons of society, Dowland was to spend much of his career performing in Western European courts. He also lived for a number of years in France where the music that he heard brought an added elegance and refinement to the instinctive Englishness of his scores. That we know so much of his music is almost entirely due to his son, Robert, who put aside his own talents as a composer to ensure that over a hundred of his father’s works were preserved for posterity. In this volume North offers dances and songs, the works naming many at the English Royal court, showing the exalted ranks in which Dowland worked. The two opening tracks are Galliards dedicated to Queen Elizabeth I, and along the way we find the Earl of Essex; the Danish King Christian IV and Lord Willoughby. The disc also includes one of Dowland’s most extensive and sad ballad settings, Loth to Depart. They all have an instant attraction, North’s sprightly fingers creating a joyous sound, and he takes a few rhythmic liberties to make these into concert pieces rather than in strict dancing tempo. There is probably no one better equipped to record these works, Dowland having become the preoccupation of North’s life with over thirty years of public performances. The recordings were made in Canada at Naxos’s centre for guitar sessions. The sound could not be bettered.






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4:29:10 PM, 14 July 2014
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