52,943 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here



International mailing

  Founder: Len Mullenger             Editor in Chief: John Quinn               Contact Seen and Heard here  

Some items
to consider

£11 post-free anywhere
(currently suspended)


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

Bruno Monteiro (violin)

More Preludes to Chopin
Kenneth Hamilton (piano)

Special Price and we are still delivering

Recordings of the Month


Feinberg Piano Sonatas

Schoenberg Violin Concerto

Early Keyboard

Nun Danket Alle Gott
Now Everyone Thanks God


Haydn Scottish Songs

Choral Music

Liszt Sonata

Renaissance Bohemia


Hahn Complete Songs

Piano Sonatas 6,7,8 Osborne

REVIEW Plain text for smartphones & printers
Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical

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

Support us financially by purchasing this disc from
Tears - Harpsichord Laments of the Seventeenth Century
William BYRD (c. 1540 - 1623)
Lachrimae Pavan [6:29]
Johann Jacob FROBERGER (1616-1667)
Fantasia VI FbWV 206 (1649) [4:58]
Partita VI FbWV 612 (1656) [10:39]
Thomas TOMKINS (1572 - 1656)
A Sad Pavan for these Distracted Tymes [9:14]
Louis COUPERIN (c. 1626-1661)
Suite in F major [19:41]
Melchior SCHILDT (1592/3-1667)
Paduana Lagrima [6:43]
Ewald Demeyere (virginal and harpsichord)
rec. 24-25 October 2012, Galaxy Studios, Mol, Belgium

Ewald Demeyere’s recording of 18th Century Flemish Harpsichord Music was much admired by colleague Johan van Veen (see review) so I was keen to hear what this themed release of Harpsichord Laments of an earlier period would deliver.
It might seem a bit too much of a good or gloomy thing to have an entire programme based on mournful music, but these “meditations or contemplations” were very much a strong thread at the time. After all, this was a period in which youthful decease or social turbulence of one kind or another led to composers and poets reflecting on death and loss in moving terms.
Demeyere mixes things up a little by presenting works on two instruments. The virginal used here is a ‘square’, smaller brother to the harpsichord, this and the latter being fine reproductions of existing examples. The virginal is based on models by Andreas Ruckers. The harpsichord was made after an anonymous example to be found in the London Courtauld Institute. Beautifully tuned and prepared, the only criticism which can be made of these instruments is that they almost sound too clean and perfect. If you prefer your ancient music a bit noisy and clattery then these instruments, and the clinically spotless environment in which they have been recorded, may make you itch for something a little less laboratory-bound.
There are more sprightly movements with dances such as the Gigue, Courant and Sarabande of the Froberger Fantasia and similar movements from the Louis Couperin Suite, so it’s not all slow moodiness. The Froberger is chosen for its opening Lament on the sad loss of His Royal Majesty FERDINAND IV, King of the Romans, commemorating this tragic death at the age of only 21. The Couperin Suite has been compiled by Demeyere, building on the finale of the well-known Tombeau de Mr de Blancrocher, a Paris lutenist whose tragic end happened in 1652. The preceding Chaconne is a big favourite, and the opening prelude non mesuré and subsequent movements suit the mood and add contrast perfectly.
These multi-movement works and the Froberger Fantasia are played on the harpsichord, the more intimate sound of the virginal reserved for Byrd’s Lachrimae Pavan which, like the more obscure Melchior Schildt’s Paduana Lagrima is a version of John Dowland’s popular Flow my Tears. Thomas Tomkins’ A Sad Pavan for these Distracted Tymes is in some ways the centrepiece for this programme, expressing deep sadness at the beheading of Charles I. It was completed just weeks after this truly remarkable event in English history.
This release, with its startlingly vivid ‘demonstration’ recorded sound and admirably executed concept, is something towards which lovers of well-played harpsichord and early keyboard music can gravitate with confidence.
Dominy Clements