Mercurial Love = Songs by DOWLAND and PURCELL – Jama Jandrokovic, soprano/ Jory Vinikour, harpsichord/ Charles Weaver, lute/ Carlene Stober, viola da gamba – MSR

by | Jul 15, 2008 | Classical CD Reviews | 0 comments

Mercurial Love = Songs by DOWLAND and PURCELL – Jama Jandrokovic, soprano/ Jory Vinikour, harpsichord/ Charles Weaver, lute/ Carlene Stober, viola da gamba – MSR MS 1222, 47:50 ***1/2 [Distr. by Albany]:

Jama Jandrokovic hails from Wisconsin (!), and is in possession of a light, lyrical, sweetly subtle voice that suits these songs very well. I suspect, as the notes refer to her being at home on Broadway as well, that there is another, perhaps consciously hidden side to the voice not on display here.

Looking at the composers in this listing makes it easy to imagine what is in store—endless melancholy—and that is exactly what Ms. Jandrokovic revels in, if her comments in the notes are to be believed. And there is nothing wrong with it—melancholy brings out some of the finest human feeling available, especially when instigated by music as ravishing as this, and no composers have ever done it better, including any of the romantics, who normally dwelt more on passion. From Dowland’s inimitable Come Again, Sweet Love doth now invite to Purcell’s lyrical wonder I attempt from Love’s sickness to fly, there are simply no finer tunes that have ever floated through the air.

I am sorry to report that air is also the problem in this recording. While the soprano is captured nicely, the continuo—with the exception of the harpsichord—is missing in action. I have no doubt that MSR has probably created a setting of vastly realistic proportions, but for a recording the continuo must be heard as well as felt, and I frustratingly was straining through this recording to hear it better. This does not seem a problem in the instrumental tracks (eight of the twenty here). I still recommend this, for the soprano has her way with these composers to excellent effect; but it could have been a more satisfying experience had the levels been adjusted slightly. And P.S.—the timing is rather stingy on a disc of this type; surely more worthy Dowland and Purcell could have been included.

TrackList:
DOWLAND: Come again, Sweet Love doth now invite; Preludium; Weep you no more, sad fountains; If my complaints could passions move; A Fancy; Sorrow, stay; Can she excuse my wrongs?; Away with these self-loving lads; PURCELL: A new Ground in E minor; Music for a while; I attempt from Love’s sickness to fly; New minuet in D minor; Cupid, the slyest rogue alive; Hornpipe in E minor & There’s not a swain; Dear, pretty youth; A Ground in D minor; If music be the food of love; Sweeter than roses

— Steven Ritter
 

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