One of the most grown-up review sites around

54,514 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here



International mailing

Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             

Some items
to consider


paid for


100th birthday of Mieczyslaw Weinberg on December 8, 2019.
Renate Eggbrecht has recorded all 3 violin Sonatas

FOGHORN Classics

Mozart Brahms
Clarinet Quintets

New Releases

Naxos Classical

Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10

Nimbus Podcast

Obtain 10% discount

Special offer 50% off
15CDs £83 incl. postage

Musicweb sells the following labels

Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off

Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger


Plain text for smartphones & printers

Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat



Recordings of the Month


From Ocean’s Floor


Conner Riddle Songs

Rodzinski Sibelius

Of Innocence and Experience


Symphonies 1, 2, 3

Support us financially by purchasing this from
John DOWLAND (1563-1626)
see end of review for track listing
Paul O’Dette (lute)
rec. January 2012, Sauder Hall, Goshen College, Indiana 
HARMONIA MUNDI HMU 907515 [75:23]

At first sight I assumed that this collection, called ‘My Favorite Dowland’, was culled from Paul O’Dette’s august back catalogue of Dowland recordings – but no, as they were all taped back in January 2012 in Sauder Hall, Goshen College, Indiana. This is, in fact, something of a treat for the lutenist, a selection of works that he has particularly enjoyed performing over his now – amazingly – decades-long performing and recording career.
His 5-CD set of the complete Dowland lute works stands as permanent testimony to his sympathy for - and mastery of - this repertoire. In those recordings he enjoyed the famed Harmonia Mundi sound – which makes it sound like a sonic-spectacular LP from the stereo age – and he continues to do so to this day; rich, resonant, and warm. It suits his communicative playing, his mastery of the shape and rise and fall of the phraseology of Dowland’s pieces, in whatever form he finds them, whether deeply meditative, rhythmically alive, or whimsical.
O’Dette has shaped the recital into paragraphs – attractive and complementary sets of pieces, sometimes two, sometimes four or other combinations. Nothing very much is made of this in the notes, but it makes for good programming. He is not afraid to take a quite daringly slow tempo for La Mia Barbara, lavishing great care over it, whilst his articulation throughout Sir John Smith, his Almain, P. 47 is deft, pure and true. Riper sonorities can be enjoyed in The Most High and Mighty Christianus the Fourth, King of Denmark, His Galliard (aka, less formally, The King of Denmark, His Galliard). My own favourite in the selection, indeed one of my favourite pieces of Dowland, is The Frog Galliard and so it’s good to report that O’Dette plays the variations with flowing delicacy and lovely tone. But he covers the emotive states very well throughout, as one might of so distinguished an interpreter, bringing expressive intensity to Farewell, and locating the folkloric heart of the ebullient Mrs. Winter's Jump. Suchlike virtues recur again and again - a tendency sometimes to linger and to savour to the fullest extent Dowland’s more melancholy pieces (such as Semper Dowland semper dolens), precise articulation, richness across the strings, an avoidance of gym-shoes in shifts, and a sense of never taking the music for granted.
This is altogether the loveliest imaginable salute from interpreter to revered composer.
Jonathan Woolf
Track listing
Lady Hunsdon's Puffe, P. 54 [1:24]
The Shoemaker's Wife, a Toy, P. 58 [1:07]
La mia Barbara, P. 95 [6:01]
Sir John Smith, his Almain, P. 47 [2:33]
Fantasia in G Minor, P. 6 [2:51]
Sir John Langton's Pavan, P. 14 [5:58]
The Most High and Mighty Christianus the Fourth, King of Denmark, His Galliard, P. 40 [2:51]
The Frog Galliard, P. 23 [1:59]
Lachrimae, P. 15 [5:38]
Galliard to Lachrimae, P. 46 [2:32]
Fantasia in G Major, P. 1 [3:57]Farewell, P. 3 [6:17]
Forlorn Hope, P. 2 [3:38]
The Right Honourable Robert, Earl of Essex, his Galliard, P. 42a [1:45]
A Coy Joy, P. 80 [0:57]
Mrs. Vaux's Jig, P. 57 [1:07]
Mrs. Winter's Jump, P. 55 [1:29]
The Right Honourable the Lady Clifton's Spirit, P. 45 [1:47]
Walsingham, P. 67 [5:05]
Fantasia in D Minor, P. 5 [2:29]
Pavan in G Minor, P. 18 [5:36]
The Most Sacred Queen Elizabeth, her Galliard, P. 41 [1:13]
Semper Dowland semper dolens, P. 9 [7:09]