Lachrimæ Lyræ – Tears of Exile

Sokratis Sinopoulos, Lacheron, François Joubert-Caillet
65:37
Fuga Libera 753

Greek Lyra meets viol consort, Greek Lyra improvises with viol consort, Greek Lyra and viol consort tackle Dowland – and this curious CD is the result. I think the most successful tracks are those on which a viol drone supports improvisations by Sokratis Sinopoulis on his Greek Lyre. For me, the accounts of the Dowland Lachrimæ Pavanes and associated Galliards and Almands with the Greek Lyre forced into the role of a treble viol just sound a bit weird. I found myself speculating that I might have found them more persuasive if Sinopolous had felt free to improvise more freely as in the ‘Greek’ tracks, but this just underlies the complete implausibility of the project. In the programme note, François Joubert-Caillet makes various attempts to tie the Lyra repertoire and his viol consort’s together under the theme of exile, but is ultimately reduced to writing that British and Greek taverns were both places in which music was listened to attentively – wishful thinking at so many levels. The playing is never less than expressive, and for all I know there may be an audience out there which has been waiting for the Greek Lyra to enlist the support of viols to tackle Dowland – I don’t think I am among them.

D. James Ross