This wonderful album has won two major Early Music awards: the 2017 Gramophone Award and the 2017 Diapason d’or de l’année. It was also named a BBC Radio 3 Building A Library ‘First Choice’. John Dowland’s gifts as an exceptional melodist are evident throughout Lachrimae or Seven Tears, an artistic achievement which has cast a remarkable spell on early music. Summing up the Renaissance preoccupation with melancholy, this extraordinary collection of dance music for viols and lute includes Dowland’s ‘signature’ piece, Semper Dowland semper Dolens. Dowland reveals a personal world of sublime sadness, grief, anger and melancholy mollified by moments of joy and gladness. A skilled lutenist, Dowland’s intricately-worked parts demand perfect synchronicity between Phantasm and Elizabeth Kenny, who rise to the technical and tempi challenges of marrying their instruments. Although freed from lyric constraints poetic images linger prompting Phantasm’s Laurence Dreyfus to describe this as “the most sensuously tuneful hour of music ever written”.