Shakespeare's Lutenist

Shakespeare's Lutenist
Theatre Music by Robert Johnson
Emma Kirkby / David Thomas / Anthony Rooley
Virgin Veritas 59321


  1. Where the bee sucks
  2. Hark, hark! the lark
  3. Come hither, you that love
  4. As I walked forth
  5. Woods, rocks, and mountains
  6. 'Tis late and cold
  7. O let us howl
  8. Arm, arm!
  9. Come away, Hecate
  10. Fantasia (lute)
  11. Pavan (lute)
  12. Galliard (lute)
  13. Charon, oh Charon
  14. Away delights
  15. Come, heavy sleep
  16. Care-charming sleep
  17. Alman I (lute)
  18. Alman II (lute)
  19. Alman III (lute)
  20. Corant (lute)
  21. Full fathom five
  22. Have you seen the while lily grow?
  23. Adieu, fond love
  24. Come away, thou lady gay
  25. Tell me, dearest

Performers: Emma Kirkby (soprano), David Thomas (bass), Anthony Rooley (lute)

Playing time: 67'

Recording date: January 1991

Robert Johnson (c.1582-1633) was associated with The King's Men from c.1610-c.1617, and wrote several songs for the later plays of William Shakespeare. The extent and nature of these performances remains something of a mystery, but Johnson was the most significant composer who has been connected to Shakespeare.

Recordings featuring Johnson's lute music:

Robert Johnson: The Prince's Almain
And other Dances for Lute
Nigel North
Naxos 8.572178
The Golden Age Restor'd
Lute Music of John & Robert Johnson
Lynda Sayce
Dervorguilla 101

And one devoted to his father, John Johnson (fl.1579-1594):

John Johnson: Lute Music
Christopher Wilson / Shirley Rumsey
Naxos 8.550776

Other collections featuring Robert Johnson:

Away Delights
Johnson: Lute Solos and Songs from Shakespeare's England
Carolyn Sampson / Matthew Wadsworth
Avie 2053
Merry Melancholy
Robert Johnson / Thomas Robinson
Konrad Junghänel
Accent 8121

Finally, a recording of choral music by the earlier Scottish composer of the same name, Robert Johnson (c.1500-c.1560):

Johnson: Laudes Deo
Capella Nova - Alan Tavener
AS&V Gaudeamus 154

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Todd M. McComb