The Hathor Consort was founded in 2011 by the Austrian gambist Romina Lischka. This Brussels-based ensemble explores consort music going from the Renaissance to the Baroque era, using diverse instrumental combinations with, as a starting point, the viola da gamba. The name comes from the goddess Hathor, a female divinity of ancient Egypt, who embodied love, joy and everything having to do with the heart.
For this first recording, the ensemble has chosen a pièce de résistance of the consort repertoire: the collection Lachrimae or Seven Tears by John Dowland (1563- 1626). The seven pavanes for five viols and lute form the core, each being based on the song ‘Flow My Tears’. Dowland’s music often expresses melancholy, and with the title of the piece Semper Dowland, semper dolens (‘Always Dowland, always suffering’), contained in this collection, the composer himself openly underscores this aspect of his music.