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‘Music for a while / Shall all your cares beguile.’ In this famous song, Purcell invokes the power of music to soothe – at least temporarily – our pain and suffering. But do we really want to be soothed? Or do we prefer to cultivate our melancholy, in the company of Michel Lambert: ‘No, I sing not to charm away my sadness, but rather to maintain it’? In the St John Passion, Bach associates the funereal sweetness of the viol with the death of Christ. Like him, many other composers have chosen the instrument to evoke mourning. The pieces recorded on this album form a frame of melancholy music, just as the Japanese character 優(Yuu) expresses the gentleness of ‘a person who stands next to someone who is sad’. Through the vector of these melancholy pieces, the Japanese gambist Kaori Uemura makes her viol sing to maintain, but also to console sadness.