Lovesick - Songs for Voice & Lute / Scotting, Stubbs
His second album on Signum Records, countertenor Randall Scotting is joined by celebrated lutenist Stephen Stubbs for a collection of anti-Valentine’s songs focussing on heartbreak and loss from the 17th century. “Perhaps there is no cure for lovesickness; but we are confident that this album will be a comfort for all those who have loved, lost, and hope to love again”. – Wendy Heller, Chair, Dept. of Music, Princeton University.
The program is skillfully planned and beautifully executed. It begins explosively – no preparatory bars from the lute – with William Lawes’s ‘I’m sick of life’, an early-ish attempt, one would guess, at recitative in English. It’s followed by two strophic songs: the traditional Scottish ‘There’s none to soothe my soul to rest’ and an air de cour, ‘Enfin la beauté que j’adore’ by Étienne Moulinié. There’s Italian opera, too, in the shape of arias from Cesti’s Orontea and Cleopatra by Daniele da Castrovillari, a name new to me.
Given the title of the album, it’s not surprising that there are no laughs to be had here. Monotony is averted by the inclusion of instrumental solos, none more beguiling than a Suite from Purcell’s King Arthur – presumably arranged by Stubbs – that comprises ‘Your hay it is mowed’, ‘Fairest Isle’ and ‘Come if you dare’. Scotting sings throughout with rich, even tone and clear diction.
Release Date: February 10, 2023
Catalog Number: SIGCD736
Label: Signum Classics
Composer: William Lawes, John Blow, Etienne Moulinie, Henry Purcell, Antonio Cesti, John Dowland, Pierre Guedron, Daniele da Castrovillari
Performer: Randall Scotting, Stephen Stubbs