The Power of a Melancholy Humour: Divination and Divine Tears

Angela Voss

Dowland called these pavans ‘passionate’… I would suggest again that they are passionate in the most fervent religious sense, in the intensely personal context of heartfelt prayer. The music is inward, private, certainly not intended for public display, but encouraging a focussed concentration more akin to participation in a ritual.

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• Listen to Dowland’s Lachrimae Antiquae, the first of the “seven tears”:

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Right-click here to download – 4:40 (6.3MB)

• Listen to Dowland’s Lachrimae Verae, seventh and last of the “seven tears”:

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Right-click here to download – 5:14 (7.1MB)


The performance is by Jordi Savall and Hesperion XX. Article reproduced with kind thanks to Angela Voss.

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