Remember me my deir – Jacobean songs of love and loss

Reviewed on Tue 18 Mar, 2014

Edinburgh-based quartet Fires of Love specialise in Renaissance and early Baroque music. As with their previous recordings, this recital mixes songs (affectingly performed by soprano Frances Cooper) and instrumentals (Renaissance guitar, lute, recorder, percussion) – but here the emphasis is explicitly on the group’s national roots, as the programme charts the journey of Jacobean Scottish music from the French-influenced style of James VI’s court (Andrew Blackhall’s 'Adeu, O desire of delyt', for example, being originally a French tune) to the Anglo-Scots of the new James I of England, whose retinue of native composers arrived in London to be met with the likes of Dowland, Morley, Campion and Byrd. The resulting album is inevitably a somewhat miscellaneous selection of works predominantly by Scottish composers – though it is hardly necessary to think in such nationalistic terms in order to enjoy this charming music.
–Mark Walker