Songs from the Labyrinth - 3347


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Usually ready in 4 hours In choosing to cover the music of John Dowland (1563-1626), who is known as the "melancholy madrigalist" from his output of cheerful ditties like "Flow My Tears," Police bandleader Sting has entered into a whole new realm of austere eeriness. Originally inspired by the gift of a lute, the rock superstar and activist sings the songs, deliciously sweet and tender or spirited by turn, accompanying himself, with Edin Karamazov sitting on lute and archlute. For listeners accustomed to hearing material of this period interpreted by rigorously trained early music stylists, especially countertenors and the like, Sting's sometimes tight-jawed, chest-heavy vocals may seem amateurish. It's undeniable that in four-part harmonies, the singer, tightly overdubbed, comes across like a combination of the Swingle Singers and Queen (meaning Freddy Mercury and crew, NOT the first Elizabeth). But it's important to remember that music of this period was routinely heard as a casual diversion in private homes, even more often than at Court. It was considered a crucial social skill to be able to join in with an adequate degree of skill, but not everyone was able to negotiate the perilous melodic twists and turns typical of the era's music. With this in mind, the overall effect is of a candle-lit, postprandial entertainment in the home of an English gentleman. Muttered readings from Dowland's letters and brief snippets of sampled birdsong aside, it is a courageous effort, displaying heartfelt admiration for the composer and a considerable degree of earnest charm. --Christina Roden Product Description Sting’s Songs From The Labyrinth is an album of 17th century music composed by John Dowland and performed on the lute, an ancient acoustic guitar. After being given a lute nearly two years ago as a gift, Sting became fascinated and immersed himself with the instrument and the history of lute music. Reminded of his almost 25 year long enthrallment with the works of John Dowland, the Elizabethan composer who wrote songs for the lute, Sting has recorded a new album of vocal and lute music. All songs were composed by Dowland in the 17th century, but have been given new life in these fresh new recordings by Sting. Sting not only sings all the songs (accompanied by leading lutenist Edin Karamasov, who appears on two Andreas Scholl albums), but also plays lute on two instrumental duets with Edin and reads short extracts from a fascinating autobiographical letter by Dowland. Sting has also written a brilliant account of the album's genesis, along with notes on the individual tracks, which serves as the CD booklet. From the Artist "For me they are 17th-century pop songs, and I relate to them in that way," Sting explains. "They have beautiful melodies, fantastic lyrics and great accompaniments. I have every respect for this music." About the Artist Sting is one of the rare artists in the world today that garners immediate attention whenever he releases an album. As a solo artist he has sold over 20 million CDs in the US. His artistry spans the musical spectrum from rock to jazz and classical.
Condition: Good
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  • Used - Very Good: Item may have minor cosmetic defects (marks, wears, cuts, bends, crushes) on the cover, spine, pages or dust cover. Shrink wrap, dust covers, or boxed set case may be missing. Item may contain remainder marks on outside edges, which should be noted in listing comments. Item may be missing bundled media. 
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  • Used - Acceptable: All pages and the cover are intact, but shrink wrap, dust covers, or boxed set case may be missing. Pages may include limited notes, highlighting, or minor water damage but the text is readable. Item may but the dust cover may be missing. Pages may include limited notes and highlighting, but the text cannot be obscured or unreadable.


  • Used - Good: Case may be damaged or come repackaged. Disc may have up to 1.5cm marking but is in great working condition. 
  • Used - Acceptable: A product with extensive external signs of wear, but is in great working condition. The case may be damaged. THe cover art, liner, notes, or other inclusion may be marked, or one or all of these items may be missing.
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