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Many men are melancholy by hearing music, but it is a pleasing melancholy that it causeth; and therefore to such as are discontent, in woe, fear, sorrow, or dejected, it is a most present remedy: it expels cares, alters their grieved minds, and easeth in an instant.


from The Anatomy of Melancholy,

Robert Burton, 1621

dowland team Dowland CD cover

Dowland's Lachrimae collection of 1604 is perhaps some of the most iconcic repertoire for viol consort. On this disc Chelys are joined by lutenist Jamie Akers for the seven lachrimae pavans, depicting different types of tears from Coacte (false) to Verae (true) Antiquae (old) and Novae (new).  

Dowland was known for his love of the melancholic, a state that was extremely fashionable in culture, art, and  literature.

Many other composers also contributed songs to the musical depiction of the cult of melancholia, and are represented on this disc by Robert Jones, William Wigthorpe, John Danyel and Tobias Hume, sung by the exquisite voice of Emma Kirkby. Hear clips from the disc on SoundCloud here

If you're looking for the most beautiful recording of the Lachrimae,

this is unquestionably it - Gramophone


This performance... shows the group to be among the finest

of viol consorts - Andrew Ashbee, The Consort


This now becomes my top recommendation for a recording of Lachrimæ

Brian Wilson, MusicWeb International. Read the whole review here