Paul O'Dette – My Favourite Dowland

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.
–Mark Walker