Despite the Swedish label for which this disc was recorded, and despite the Swedish origins of the group's leader, the Dowland Consort is English. It has a lot of competition in the realm of instrumental music by John Dowland, but less so for the seven linked pieces that open the program, based on the material used in the famous lute song Seven Teares. (This disc was originally recorded in 1985.) These seven pieces (and the pair of sevens would have had deep significance for Dowland's audience) are unique in Renaissance instrumental music.
Jan Sandström (b. 1954) is among the most frequently performed Swedish composers on the international scene today. His ‘Motorbike Concerto’ for trombone and orchestra is for instance one of the most played Swedish orchestral works of all times, with more than 600 performances since its première in 1989. The Motorbike Concerto was the first major result of the collaboration between Sandström and the trombone virtuoso Christian Lindberg – a collaboration which has evolved over the years, to the point that Lindberg here conducts the Iceland Symphony Orchestra in four works reflecting Sandström’s trajectory as composer for orchestra, from Éra (1979–80) to Ocean Child in its revised 2004 version.
NB Ultra Extended Playing Time - This product can only be played on a machine with SACD capability (super audio single layer). It cannot be played on a conventional CD player. This pioneering recording, which was first released in 1995 as a set of four conventional CDs, contains the complete solo lute pieces ascribed to John Dowland. As opposed to the composer’s lute songs and instrumental dances, which Dowland himself carefully prepared for publication, his lute solos have survived in much less reliable versions. Jakob Lindberg, lute professor at the Royal College of Music, brought all of his expertise to bear in preparing the scores and choosing among variant versions for his recordings, and also wrote the informative liner notes included in this edition.
Jan Antonín Losy was born around 1650 of a prosperous Bohemian family. After the death of his father, the first Count of Losinthal, he inherited not only his title but also considerable wealth. He was therefore able to devote his life to music, and his skill as a lutenist became famous throughout Europe. Unlike professional players, Losy had no need to sell or publish his music but fortunately it has survived in numerous manuscript copies. Today we have almost 200 pieces by Count Losy, many of which once belonged together in larger suites or partitas.