Reviewed on Tue 09 Sep, 2014
Given that he has already recorded a complete set for this label, one might imagine that Paul O’Dette had already said everything he had to say about Dowland’s lute music. Not a bit of it: on this newly recorded selection, O’Dette provides us with both a single-album encapsulation of Dowland’s ability to craft pieces that fall naturally 'under the fingers', and a concrete demonstration that they remain evergreen no matter how often revisited. Using a large 8-course lute tuned a whole tone below modern concert pitch, O’Dette produces a warm, rich tone approaching if not equalling that of a Spanish guitar: so, in 'Sir John Langton, His Pavin', for example, the chord sequences and alternating single-note runs are given a truly legato melodic flow. Throughout it is as if O’Dette had been the dedicatee, such is the sympathetic agreement between performer and composer, beautifully captured by Harmonia Mundi’s flawless recording.