John Dowland: Tarleton’s Resurrection; David Tayler, archlute

In this video

One of Dowland’s early works, Tarleton’s Resurrection, performed on the archlute by David Tayler.
Tarleton’s Reconstruction: Dowland’s original music does not survive, and the later sources present only the outside lines of what would have been a four or five part composition. Dowland’s lute solos invariably have room in the polyphonic web for a tenor or alto part, and here I have created a tenor part for the last section in the style of Dowland, using an inverted counterpoint of the melody divided along the hexachord. Dowland’s solo remained popular well into the early 17th century.
Richard Tarleton: Tarleton was the favorite jester of Queen Elizabeth I, and he died in 1588, the same year that Dowland received his degree from Oxford. Dowland was very much interested in a court position, and may have written the work as a gesture to the Queen. An accomplished comedic actor, Tarleton was also a playwright and fencing master who could improvise pentameter as part of the play or to spar with unruly audience members. One of the few known representations of Tarleton shows him playing a pipe and tabor. The title of the work is often given as “rissurection,” “riserrectionne” or “riserrectione;” the spelling variants are the result of the Latin and Italian forms of the word. As Dowland was justifiably proud of his skills in Latin translation, I have used the Latin form of the word, and this spelling, resurrection, was by far the most common form in the time of Queen Elizabeth I.

Respectfully dedicated to Desmond Dupré (1916-1974). As a young music student, I listened to the recordings of Alfred Deller and the lutenist Desmond Dupré; Dupré taught himself to play the viol, then the lute, and made his debut in Wigmore hall with Deller in 1951: he was also the first president of the lute society.


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