English composer John Dowland was known for his mastery of melancholy, and nowhere is his skill so evident as in his 1604 collection “Lachrimae, or Seaven Teares Figured in Seaven Passionate Pavans.” Originally for strings (viols or violins) and lute, the titutar “pavans” (no longer danceable) are too good not to steal for recorder- they’re gorgeous, lush and intricate, each depicting a different flavor of sorrow.
Lachrimae Coactae, loosely translated as “crocodile tears,” is one of my favorites, filled with feints and surprises. The recorder arrangement is from IMSLP, for SATTB, upper intermediate level, by Ulrich Alpers. Go slowly while you’re learning- the inner parts, especially, offer much to unravel.
The top part can either be played on soprano or alto up. If on soprano, leave out the B in measure 13, or play D instead.
-- Anne Timberlake
Play along files recorded by Anne Timberlake, supported by a grant from the Recorder Artist Relief Fund.