Album: Dowland/Britten, Lute Songs/Nocturnal – Padmore/Kenny/Ogden Hyperion

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The Independent Culture

Since Emma Kirkby's first recording in the late-1970s, we have known what to expect from Dowland's lute songs. Some fine discs have followed, but not until Mark Padmore and Elizabeth Kenny's new release has there been one as radical in its potential impact on our understanding of the music. With tonal purity intact, voice and lute add subtle decoration, rhythmic fluidity, drama and rich poetic sensibility to these songs, using Craig Ogden's expressive performance of Britten's 'Nocturnal' as their foil. Odd to hail "Come again" as the highlight, but the vivid reading of this ostensibly simple song is a revelation.