This set of Dowland pavanes and other dances has steady calmed my worn-out nerves throughout the course of this entire month. To be true, it's been nearly the only newly-acquired LP that I've had on deck until late last week. I reckon I've found Lachrimae, in particular, uplifting in that reflective, somber, minor key kind of way. I recognize that Renaissance chamber sounds are something a change of pace for GC, but really...Isn't that why we're all here in the first place -- Looking for new sounds and revelatory surprises? Besides, if I've played it that much, seems like the proof is in the pudding...
"Very little is known of John "the Bard" Dowland's early life, but it is generally thought he was born in London. Irish historian W. H. Grattan Flood claimed that he was born in Dalkey, near Dublin, but no corroborating evidence has ever been found either for that statement or for Thomas Fuller's claim that he was born in Westminster. In 1580 Dowland went to Paris, where he was in service to Sir Henry Cobham, the ambassador to the French court, and his successor, Sir Edward Stafford. He became a Roman Catholic at this time. In 1584, Dowland moved back to England where he was married. In 1588 he was admitted Mus. Bac. from Christ Church, Oxford. In 1594 a vacancy for a lutenist came up at the English court, but Dowland's application was unsuccessful - he claimed his religion led to his not being offered a post at Elizabeth I's Protestant court. However, his conversion was not publicized, and being Catholic did not prevent some other important musicians (such as William Byrd) from having a court career in England.
From 1598 Dowland worked at the court of Christian IV of Denmark, though he continued to publish in London.King Christian was very interested in music and paid Dowland astronomical sums; his salary was 500 daler a year, making him one of the highest-paid servants of the Danish court. Though Dowland was highly regarded by King Christian, he was not the ideal servant, often overstaying his leave when he went to England on publishing business or for other reasons. Dowland was dismissed in 1606 and returned to England; in early 1612 he secured a post as one of James I's lutenists. There are few compositions dating from the moment of his royal appointment until his death in London in 1626. While the date of his death is not known, "Dowland's last payment from the court was on 20 January 1626, and he was buried at St Ann's, Blackfriars, London, on 20 February 1626."
Two major influences on Dowland's music were the popular consort songs, and the dance music of the day. Most of Dowland's music is for his own instrument, the lute. It includes several books of solo lute works, lute songs (for one voice and lute), part-songs with lute accompaniment, and several pieces for viol consort with lute. The poetRichard Barnfield wrote that Dowland's "heavenly touch upon the lute doth ravish human sense."
One of his better known works is the lute song "Flow my tears", the first verse of which runs:
Flow my tears, fall from your springs,
Exil'd for ever let me mourn;
Where night's black bird her sad infamy sings,
There let me live forlorn.—John Dowland, 
He later wrote what is probably his best known instrumental work, Lachrimae, or Seaven Teares, Figured in Seaven Passionate Pavans, a set of seven pavanesfor five viols and lute, each based on the theme derived from the lute song "Flow my tears". It became one of the best known collections of consort music in his time. His pavane, "Lachrymae antiquae", was also popular in the seventeenth century, and was arranged and used as a theme for variations by many composers.
Dowland's music often displays the melancholia that was so fashionable in music at that time. He wrote a consort piece with the punning title "Semper Dowland, semper dolens" (always Dowland, always doleful), which may be said to sum up much of his work." (Wikipedia)
Eugen Dombois (or Mueller-Dombois) is best known as an instructor at the Schola Cantorum in Basel, where he has trained a whole generation of major lute players. (Source: *roughly translated)
John Dowland : "Lachrimae or Seaven Teares" and Fourteen Other Dances -- Eugene Müller-Dombois (lute), Viola da Gamba Quintet of Schola Cantorum Basiliensis (1968 -- RCA Victrola, VICS-1338)
320 mp3 + Flac
1. Lachrimae or Seaven Teares
2. Lachrimae Antiquae
3. Lachrimae Antiquae Novae
4. Lachrimae Gementes
5. Lachrimae Tristes
6. Lachrimae Coactae
7. Lachrimae Verae
1. M. John Langton's Pavan - Sir John Souch His Galliard - M. Nicholas Gryffith His Galliard - M. Giles Hoby's Galliard - M. George Whitehead His Allemande
2. Sir Henry Umpton's Funeral - M. Henry Noel His Galliard - Captaine Digorie Piper His Galliard - M. Buctons' Galliard
3. "Semper Dowland semper dolens" - The King of Denmark's Galliard - The Earl of Essex Galliard - M. Thomas Collier His Galliard - Mrs. Nichols' Allemande
FYI, Many more re-ups are on the way. Tonight or tomorrow. Peace.