The Midle Ages and the Renaissance

12th to 16th century

(Classical Music Map)


I. History of Classical Music  (by John Stanley)
The great composers and their masterworks in MP3 format
Albeniz Borodin Donizetti Hindemith Prokofiev Schutz
Albinoni Brahms Dowland Janacek Puccini Scriabin
Allegri Britten Dvorak Kodaly Purcell Sibelius
Arne Bruckner Falla Leoncavallo Rachmaninov Smetana
Auber Busoni Field Liszt Rameau Strauss J.S.
Bach Byrd Gabrieli Lully Ravel Strauss R.
Barber Carissimi Gershwin Mahler Respighi Stravinsky
Bartok Charpentier Gesualdo Mendelssohn Rimsky-Korsakov Tallis
Beethoven Cherubini Glinka Meyerbeer Rossini Tchaikovsky
Bellini Chopin Gluck Monteverdi Saint-Saens Telemann
Bernstein Clementi Gounod Mozart Scarlatti Verdi
Berwald Corelli Grieg Mussorgsky Schoenberg Victoria
Berlioz Couperin Handel Pachelbel Shostakovich Villa-Lobos
Bizet Debussy Haydn Paganini Schubert Vivaldi
Boccherini Delibes Hildegard Palestrina Schumann Wagner
Orff  "Carmina Burana"
II. History of Jazz

John Dowland



John Dowland was the greatest English lutenist and song composer. The late sixteenth century saw the development of the lute as an instrument to accompany consort songs, and m England a distinctive song type evolved: the ayre. This form, for solo voice with lute or viols, supplanted the madrigal in popularity. It was as a composer of ayres that Dowland excelled.

Dowland travelled extensively in Europe, partly because he had failed to gain a position as royal lutenist to Elizabeth I. At the age of 17 he had spent a period in Paris, in service to Sir Henry Cobham, the Ambassador to the King of France, during which time he converted to Catholicism; and it is no doubt partly as a result of this that he may have felt more comfortable on the Continent. He himself was convinced that his Catholic sympathies led to prejudice against him at the English court. In the 1 590s he was received at various courts in Germany, including that of the Duke of Brunswick and the Landgrave of Hesse at Kassel, and in Italy. In Florence he met up with other disenchanted English Catholics, only to discover that they were plotting to assassinate Queen Elizabeth. He immediately moved on to Nuremberg. From there, in November 1595, he wrote to Sir Robert Cecil in England exposing the Catholics' plot. After this he probably returned to Hesse.

In 1598 Dowland was employed as a lutenist - for a very high salary — at the court of King Christian of Denmark. Five years later, after receiving funds for his latest book of music, he returned to London, where he met with Queen Anne. In 1605 he went back to Denmark, but the pressure of his accruing debts forced him home again, where in 1 609 he entered the service of Lord Walden, a man well connected with royal circles; in October 1612 he eventually gained a position as lutenist to King James I. Despite the royal appointment, he never enjoyed as great a renown in England as he did abroad.

Dowland wrote a great number of pieces for solo kite, many in dance forms; sacred music such as psalms; and four books of ayres (1597-1612) that were widely published and achieved immense popularity. Descriptions of the composer indicate a certain duality of character; he is variously described as "a cheerful person ... passing his days in lawful merriment" and as a man "filled with melancholy." This ambivalence is reflected m his music, where his light and tuneful English ayres contrast sharply with other more sombre pieces such as "In darkness let mee dwell." With his ability to give intense musical expression to the emotion of the poetry, using rhythmic devices and techniques such as word-painting, it is in his gentler, elegiac songs that Dowland's talent is without rival.


John Dowland



John Dowland (с.1563-1626)



What If I Never Speed?
Weep You No More Sad Fountains

Can She Excuse My Wrongs

Come Heavy Slee

Come Heavy Sleep (vocal version featuring Kuni Yoshimura)
Pavan XI
Fine Knacks For Ladies
A shepherd in a shade
Go Crystal Tears
If my complaints
Come again
Rest awhile you cruel cares
Clear or cloudy
Say, love
Shall I strive with words to move
Praise blindness, eyes
Dear, if you change
Sleep wayward thoughts
The lowest trees have tops
Unquiet thoughts
My heart and tongue were twins
Now O now I Needs Must Part












Orff  "Carmina Burana"


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