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CD of the Week: Michele Carreca: Mr. Dowland's Fortune

On his new album Mr. Dowland's Fortune, Carreca breathes new life into pieces by John Dowland - a celebrated 16th-century English lutenist - by playing them on an instrument made in 2012, by lute maker Stephen Murphy.

Think of lute music, and words like “medieval” and “renaissance” probably come to mind. And for good reason - the lute, which enjoyed its heyday between the Middle Ages and the mid-18th century, fell out of favor relatively quickly after that. As a consequence, there is a wealth of lute music available today that is rarely performed or recorded. Every so often, an artist comes along who capitalizes on this: take, for example, Jakob Lindberg, Hopkinson Smith, and now, Michele Carreca.

Dowland, who made his living traveling Europe with his lute, left behind a vast and vibrant library of music, the best of which Carreca has selected to play for this album. With selections ranging from lively dances and popular folk songs to more plaintive, melancholy tunes, Mr. Dowland’s Fortune is as much a survey of the breadth of Dowland’s work as it is a showcase of Carreca’s ability.

On his (relatively) new lute, Carreca handles Dowland’s centuries-old music with grace and charm, creating an album that is both whimsical and, at times, quite serious. As for his lute, it is rather fitting that he uses such a modern instrument - in the most tangible way, Carreca is launching an old tradition into the 21st century.

Hear a track from the album:
For more information and to purchase this album, visit ArkivMusic.

Track Listing:

  1. Mrs. Vaux’s Galliard
  2. A Coy Joy
  3. Mrs. White’s Thing
  4. A Piece Without Title
  5. Giles Hobie’s Galliard
  6. The Right Honourable The Lady Clifton’s Spirit
  7. Preludium
  8. John Dowland’s Galliard
  9. Go From My Window
  10. Mrs. Winter’s Jump
  11. Sir John Smith, His Almain
  12. Lachrimae
  13. The Right Honourable Earl of Essex, his Galliard
  14. A Fancy
  15. What If A Day
  16. An Almand
  17. Complaint
  18. Lady Hunsdon’s Puffe
  19. Mignarda
  20. A Fancy
  21. Mrs. White’s Nothing
  22. Fortune
  23. Mr. Dowland’s Midnight
  24. Sweet Robin
  25. Dowland’s Galliard