Lute Songs

Lute Songs

J. Dowland

“John Dowland – a lute-player that sang melancholic love songs -, is a man experiencing the transition towards the medieval conception of spherical harmony, whereby ‘music and language should coincide – not through meaning but through quantity and proportions, which govern all movements, both earthly and cosmic, as well as the new-born influence of Italian Renaissance looking for a new way of connecting the meaning of words with music, by enhancing the vertical feature of and encouraging harmonic conscience rather than a counterpoint.’ During his trips to France and Italy, Dowland would include these humanist influences yet never completely gave up on counterpoints. This ambivalence seems to have drawn in the performers’ attention for this disk. Damien Guillon and Eric Bellocq succeeded in finding the perfect balance between these two facets, so dear to a composer’s artistic touch.” Jean-Luc Tamby


“Straight to the heart (…) Damien Guillon boasts a radiant form of musicality, a refined sense of sprezzatura, and an unrivalled ability to forget himself and simply melt into the music. No superfluous intentions, and not a single emphatic effect in sight. ‘It is a precious jewel to be plain’ stated the anonymous poet put into music by Dowland (‘Fine knacks for ladies’).”  Bernard Schreuders

“Everything is so smooth, graceful, natural and fluent. (…) We no doubt have here the key to success for interpreting Dowland’s work: letting your heart speak out, putting rules to the side, experiencing musical situations with great intensity. It would as such not be surprising for listeners to come back, again and again, to watch those who manage to convey a touch of magic. Damien Guillon is undoubtedly one of those people. Bernard Postiau

Crescendo magazine