Sit Fast – Dowland & Benjamin: Seven Tears Upon Silence (2017) [Qobuz FLAC 24bit/48kHz]

Sit Fast – Dowland & Benjamin: Seven Tears Upon Silence (2017) 
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/48 kHz  | Time – 52:45 minutes | 514 MB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: Qobuz | Digital Booklet | © Evidence

John Dowland’s Lachrimae, or Seven Teares has been part of the Sit Fast consort of viols repertoire since it was founded some years ago – a French ensemble despite its resolutely English name taken from Christopher Tye, another 17th century composer; the name does not imply that the listener should hurry to flatten his fanny on the stool, rather than urge him to remain well seated while listening to some captivating music.Lachrimae is a pivotal work in the history of music and one of the first purely instrumental ensemble works published in England. It shows us Dowland carrying music in the abstract to a level of perfection that renders, even overcomes in some way, the full force of melancholy: a veritable eulogy to slowness in the form of a work in progress that Dowland seems to want to convey to us in these seven slow pieces, pavans as a matter of fact. The Seven Teares were published in 1604, inspired by the celebrated song Flow, my tears published in 1600 by the same composer in his Second Book of Songs or Ayres, itself probably derived from a Lachrimae for solo lute from an earlier date.<br><br>Nearly four hundred years later, in 1990, George Benjamin wrote Upon Silencefor viols and mezzo-soprano, where he treated the viol consort as an ensemble of strings, allowing for a range of new technical possibilities and a rich palette of new sonorities to experiment with. Drawing inspiration both from Henry Purcell’s Fantasias for Viols and the music of India (in particular from the improvised introduction to some ragas), Benjamin gives us, in sort, a very personal musical synthesis: an atonal language tinged with melodic consonances and polymodality, over a highly dense polyphony and a delicate working of instrumental texture and tone. When he heard that Upon Silence would be paired with Dowland’s Seaven Teares, George Benjamin gave Sit Fast his heartfelt and enthusiastic approval. The listener will no doubt approve.


John Dowland (1563-1626)
1 Lachrimae antiquae 05:39
2 Lachrimae antiquae novae 05:50
3 Lachrimae gementes 05:24
4 Lachrimae tristes 05:58
5 Lachrimae coactae 05:39
6 Lachrimae amantis 06:24
7 Lachrimae verae 06:11

George Benjamin (b. 1960)
Upon Silence for Mezzo-Soprano and Five Viols
8 Verse I 01:55
9 Verse II 02:53
10 Verse III 06:52

Sarah Breton, mezzo-soprano
Karl Nyhlin, lute
Sit Fast