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Thomas Campion (1567-1620) holds a unique place in the history of Elizabethan and Jacobean musical culture as a great poet who was also a consummate musician. His English Ayres epitomise the sound of Shakespeare's England. Although his music is too often overshadowed by that of his contemporary John Dowland, Campion's delightful Ayres explore a wide emotional range and vary in scale from a single voice with lute to a mixed group of singers and instrumentalists.

Michael Chance has established a worldwide reputation as the leading exponent of the male alto voice. His numerous accolades include a Grammy award for his participation in Handel's Semele. Nigel North is one of the world's foremost lutenists and is held in the highest regard as a soloist and chamber musician. The English Ayre (Rachel Elliot - soprano, Mark Padmore - Tenor, Peter Harvey - baritone) and Concordia (Mark Levy - viol, Alison McGilivray - viol, Joanna Levine - viol) also feature on this intriguing recording.