Perpetual Night

with Lucile Richardot

Starting from the world of the Consorts Songs and the English Virginalists, while the virtuoso spirit of the Renaissance still stretches over the first years of the 17th century, it appeared to us that the musical world that follows Dowland and precedes Blow and Purcell constituted a universe as little known as it was fascinating.

The political instability of the kingdom of England in these first decades (monarchy, execution of Charles I, protectorate of Cromwell, then restoration) and the perpetual tensions between Catholics and Protestants necessarily had repercussions on artistic life: musicians evolved according to the support they gave to one or the other regime, to one or the other religion.

It was during this period that English accompanied monody was truly born, where the beauty of counterpoint and its dissonances gave a new place to a freedom of declamation, on the model of the Italian research of Caccini and Monteverdi. The poetic universe is largely derived from the pastoral, while making a more and more important part to a true dramatic inspiration. Melancholy remains an omnipresent ingredient and a specifically English signature.

In the manner of a beautiful anthology, these songs trace the art of singing well in the English way, where France and its delicacy are never far away, where Italian extravagances are envied and imitated. From the great tales of William Lawes to the seductive melodies of John Blow, it is the whole English sound universe that is shaped before our eyes and that will build over the years the inspiration of the young Henry Purcell.

Perpetual Night has been awarded by le Prix de la Critique allemande du disque 2018 and un Diapason d’Or de l’année, and also by Choc de l’année ClassicaDiamant d’Opéra Magazine and  ffff Télérama.