“some would say the world’s greatest living countertenor” The Times
Time Stands Still.
Lute songs of John Dowland and his contemporaries
Green Growth the Holly.
A seasonal concert by candlelight
Of Joy and Sorrow Mixt
English Renaissance Poetry and Prose. Written by Adrian Drew, performed with David Vickery, reader & narrator
“It’s not often a world renowned musician gives a recital in a Leicestershire village church but, thanks to the enterprise of the Houghton Music Club, the hallowed arches of St. Catherine’s, Houghton on the Hill, resounded to the distinctive tones of the great countertenor James Bowman.
This memorable voice and lute recital “Green Growth The Holly” was a delight from beginning to end. Bowman’s artistry is such that he can make each song a compelling experience; a pause here, a little acceleration there; a wonderful sense of line and a sure feeling for expressive nuance, all help to bring every bar to life.
It was fascinating to see Bowman’s rapport with lutenist Dorothy Linell. Theirs is clearly a true musical partnership of insight and understanding. They began with a group of Elizabethan songs of love and death, then came three exquisite lute solos. Bowman made Orlando Gibbons’ Drop, Drop,Slow Tears a model of restrained grief and brought out every ounce of feeling in Dowland’s melancholy In Darkness Let Me Dwell.
Part two featured some beautiful early carols including The Coventry Carol, Byrd’s Cradle Song, Ravenscroft’s Remember O Thou Man and Quem Pastores – all captivatingly sung. Bowman was equally at home in two later items – Holst’s In The Bleak Midwinter and Rubbra’s striking setting of The Hymn To The Virgin”. Leicester Mercury