Dowland: Third Book of Songs

Dowland: The Third Booke of Songs (1603)
The Consort of Musicke - Anthony Rooley
L'Oiseau Lyre 430 284


  1. Fairwell, too fair (tenor, lute, bass viol)
  2. Time stands still (tenor, lute, bass viol)
  3. Behold a wonder here (tenor, lute, bass viol)
  4. Daphne was not so chaste (tenor, lute, bass viol)
  5. Me, me, and none but me (4 voices, lute)
  6. When Phoebus first did Daphne love (4 voices)
  7. Say, Love, if ever thou didst find (4 voices)
  8. Flow not so fast, ye fountains (soprano, viols, lute)
  9. What if I never speed? (tenor, bass viol, lute)
  10. Love stood amazed (tenor, lute, bass viol)
  11. Lend your ears to my sorrow (4 voices)
  12. By a fountain where I lay (4 voices)
  13. O what hath overwrought (4 voices)
  14. Farewell, unkind (soprano, lute)
  15. Weep you no more, sad fountains (soprano, lute)
  16. Fie on this feigning! (tenor, lute, bass viol)
  17. I must complain (tenor, lute, bass viol)
  18. It was a Time when silly bees (bass, lute, bass viol)
  19. The lowest trees have tops (soprano, lute)
  20. What poor astronomers they are (bass, lute, bass viol)
  21. Come when I call (soprano, 3 voices, lute, viols)

Performers: Emma Kirkby (soprano), John York Skinner (countertenor), Martyn Hill (tenor), David Thomas (bass), Catherine Mackintosh (treble viol), Polly Waterfield (tenor viol), Ian Gammie (tenor viol), Trevor Jones (bass viol), and Anthony Rooley (lute)

Playing time: 72'

Original release date: 1977; re-released: 1991

This disc contains Dowland's complete Third book of songs, performed by various combinations of the above performers. This is definitely a classic, unsurpassed today.

The Consort of Musicke's other Dowland recordings, all classics:

Dowland: First Booke of Songes (1597)
The Consort of Musicke - Anthony Rooley
L'Oiseau Lyre 421 653
Dowland: Second Booke of Songes (1600)
The Consort of Musicke - Anthony Rooley
L'Oiseau Lyre 425 889
Dowland: A Pilgrimes Solace (1612), etc.
The Consort of Musicke - Anthony Rooley
L'Oiseau Lyre 436 188 (2 CDs)

The final item is Dowland's fourth and last book of songs, not titled as such. Beyond this, there is now a budget reissue of all of these volumes, plus Dowland's consort & lute music:

Dowland: Collected Works
The Consort of Musicke - Anthony Rooley
L'Oiseau Lyre 452 563 (12 CDs)

Of course, in keeping with his position as the most-admired song composer of the era, there are many recordings of Dowland's songs. Some others:

Dowland: Farewell Unkind
Songs & dances
Boston Camerata - Joel Cohen
Erato 12704
Dowland Songs - Volume I
Flow my teares
Paul Agnew / Christopher Wilson
Metronome 1010
Fortune My Foe
Songs of John Dowland
Echos Muse
Koch International 3-7170
Treasures from my minde
Songs and instrumental pieces by John Dowland
Virgin Veritas 45288
The English Orpheus
Emma Kirkby, Anthony Rooley
Virgin Veritas 59521
Honey from the Hive
Songs by John Dowland
Emma Kirkby / Anthony Rooley
Bis 1475 [SACD]
Dowland: Ayres
Gérard Lesne / Ensemble Orlando Gibbons
Astrée 8881
Dowland: Come away, come sweet love
Roberta Invernizzi / Accademia Strumentale Italiana - Alberto Rasi
Stradivarius 33614
Dowland: Songs and Lute Pieces
Charles Daniels / David Miller
EMI Classics "Debut" 72266
Dowland: In Darkness Let Me Dwell
John Potter et al.
ECM "New" 1697
Dowland: Lute Songs & Solos, Vol. I
Alfred Deller / Robert Spencer
Harmonia Mundi 90244
Dowland: Lute Songs
Russell Oberlin / Joseph Iadone
Lyrichord 8011
Dowland: Passionate Pavans & Galliards
Julianne Baird / Marshall Coid / Jerry Willard / Elain Comparone
Lyrichord 8046
Songs of the Labyrinth
Dowland: Lute Songs and Lute Solos
Sting / Edin Karamazov
Deutsche Grammophon 170 3139

Dowland's songs are contemporaneous with the introduction of the madrigal into England, though they belong generally to the class of lute songs (which is a rather loose definition). Several skilled composers worked in these forms.

Some other composers close to Dowland in style were Thomas Campion (1567-1620), Robert Johnson (c.1582-1633), John Danyel (1564-c.1626), and Nicholas Lanier (1588-1666). Dedicated recordings:

Campion: Ayres
Drew Minter / Paul O'Dette
Harmonia Mundi USA 907023
Shakespeare's Lutenist
Theatre Music by Robert Johnson
Emma Kirkby / David Thomas / Anthony Rooley
Virgin Veritas 59321
Danyel: Complete Songs and Lute Music
Nigel Short, David Miller, et al.
Hyperion 66714
Lanier: Hero & Leander
Paul Agnew / Christopher Wilson
Metronome 1027

And some more general collections:

English Folksongs & Lute Songs
Scholl / Martin
Harmonia Mundi 901603
Love Bade Me Welcome
Songs Duets and Instrumental Music
Theatre of Early Music
Bis 1446
The Sypres Curten of the Night
Elizabethan & Jacobean Lute Songs
Michael Chance / Christopher Wilson
Chandos Chaconne 0538
English Lute Songs
Robin Blaze / Elizabeth Kenny
Hyperion 67126
Dramatic Elements
Elegies and lullabies by Dowland, Hume, Byrd, etc.
Alain Zaepffel / Eugène Ferre / Ensemble les Eléments
Adès 243722
Dowland: Tears of the Muse
Daniel Taylor / Les Voix Humaines / Andreas Martin
Atma 22151
Flow my Tears
Larmes Baroques
Jean-Loup Charvet / Les Passions de l'Âme
Astrée 8634
Lie down, poor heart
English lutesongs & folk ballads
Daniel Taylor / Sylvain Bergeron
Dorian 90287
The Rags of Time
17th-c. English lute songs and dances
Paul Hillier / Nigel North
Harmonia Mundi USA 907257
O Mistress Mine
A Collection of English Lute Songs
Frederick Urrey / Ronn McFarlane
Dorian 90136

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Todd M. McComb