John Danyel: Like as the lute delights

Album review
John Danyel: Like as the lute delights

Paul Beier, lute; Michael Chance, countertenor

John Danyel: Like as the lute delights

Label: Stradivarius
Media: CD
Genre: Classical

This disc contains a total of twenty-five tracks from the English composer and lutenist John Danyel. He was a contemporary of John Dowland and the two of them were said to be the greatest lute players of the age. Danyel’s songs are very dramatic and tell stories, as was the tradition of the court of James I. The words at times are somewhat depressing, perhaps because the composer was trying to enter the Royal court during the Jacobean era.

The lute is very relaxing on the ear, which enables this album to escape depression! The musicianship of both singer, Chance, and player, Beier is deeply impressive. Chance has an impressive top range; he hits the high notes with ease and control. Beier is a sympathetic accompanist, rather than a frustrated soloist! His solo works on the album are played in a very different way to those when he is accompanying Chance, which shows great understanding of the music and the place he should take in the music, as Danyel would have expected.

This disc would make a great addition to a collection of lute music, but may be rather tough going as an introduction to music of the era.

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