John Dowland Composer
Musicology:John Dowland's Lachrimæ (Tears) was one of the most popular pieces of the early seventeenth century. It was reprinted numerous times in England and on the European continent, sometimes without proper credit given to the composer. Dowland acknowledged that the Lachrimæ was his best known work when, years after composing it, he signed his "Lord's Prayer" setting for the English Protestant Psalter with "Jo: dolandi de Lachrimæ..." (John Dowland of the Lachrimæ). The piece has endured innumerable arrangements; the first phrase in particular appears in many works by other composers.
Pavana LachrimaeYear: 1612
Genre: Solo Chamber
Dowland himself was responsible for three versions of Lachrimæ, the first of which was for solo lute. Composed sometime before 1796, it appeared in A New Booke of Tabliture. It reappeared, this time with an added text, in Dowland's Second Booke of Songs or Ayres (1600) as "Flow my teares." Finally, the Lachrimæ or Seven Tears of 1604 contains seven pavans, the first of which is an arrangement of the famous Lachrimæ for five viols and lute entitled Lachrimæ Antiquæ. The other six pavans each begin with the first four notes of the Lachrimæ theme in one of the voices. Before either of Dowland's arrangements appeared, Thomas Morley published his own arrangement in The First Booke of Consort Lessons of 1599; it is in this version that the piece is best known.
© John Palmer, Rovi