Danyel: Lute Songs (1606)

Danyel: Lute Songs (1606)
The Consort of Musicke; Anthony Rooley
Catalogue No.

Anthony Rooley writes: ‘Even in 1926 when Peter Warlock published his brief essay on the English Lute Songs, John Danyel was singled out as being perhaps the finest lute-song composer (John Dowland not excepted) by perceptive Warlock. Nobody believed him then and not much has changed now – but I agree with Warlock. John Danyel composed some of the finest songs in the English language but he has left us too little for him to be judged a ‘great master’! Just one slim volume of songs and a few exceedingly difficult lute solos in manuscript.

‘After I had completed the complete Dowland recordings in 1976/77, I was eager to be sure Danyel was made available too. I had discovered that his one book was designed not so much as a “song-cycle”, but as a “song-story”, carefully structured and sequenced. The craftsmanship is obvious from the start, but the extraordinary level of artistry in song achieved by Danyel is most apparent in the two “song-cycles” within the larger story: “Grief keep within” and “Can doleful notes?”. As Warlock observed, there is simply nothing to compare with these two works, in the entire Lute Song output. Danyel’s ability to create a large-scale architecture, both musically and emotionally, with the simplest of means is remarkable. He and Dowland were good friends; there was no enmity between them – only respect. I hope this reissue will find new Danyel converts!’

This important recording receives its first international CD issue, which includes a new introductory note by Anthony Rooley, the original liner notes and full song texts.


Coy Daphne fled
Thou pretty bird
He whose desires are still abroad
Like as the lute delights
Dost thou withdraw thy grace?
Why canst thou not?
Stay, cruel, stay!
Time, cruel time
Grief keep within
Drop not, mine eyes
Have all our passions
Let not Cloris think
Can doleful notes?
No, let chromatic tunes
Uncertain certain turns
Eyes, look no more
If I could shut the gate
I die whenas I do not see
What delight can they enjoy?
Now the earth, the skies, the air

Consort of Musicke
Emma Kirkby, soprano
John York Skinner, countertenor
Martyn Hill, tenor
David Thomas, bass
Trevor Jones, bass viol
Jakob Lindberg, lute
Anthony Rooley, lute/director

Recording information

Recording Producer: David Williams
Balance Engineer: Martin Haskell
Recording Location: Decca Studios, West Hampstead, London, UK, May 1978