'A haunting meditation in which the presence of John Dowland is clearest where the music seems least like him: a magical illusion as well as a moving homage.' Gramophone


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Programme Notes

This piece is an explosion of John Dowland’s lute song 'In Darknesse Let Mee Dwell' (1610). No notes have been added; indeed, some have been removed. Patterns latent in the original have been isolated and regrouped, with the aim of illuminating the song from within, as if during the course of a performance.

In darknesse let mee dwell,
the ground shall sorrow be,
The roofe Dispaire to barre
all cheerful light from mee,
The wals of marble blacke
that moistned still shall weepe,
My musicke hellish jarring sounds
to banish friendly sleepe.
Thus wedded to my woes,
and bedded to my Tombe,
O let me living die
till death doe come.

Dowland ends the song with a restatement of the opening line.

Thomas Adès


'Amid the starkly beautiful single notes of Darkness Visible – mainly high, glistening tinkles and somber, booming bass – hints of Dowland's original theme floated in and out, like a fugitive hymn tune.'
Chicago Sun Times (Wynne Delacoma), 15 November 1999

Darknesse Visible

Cleveland Institute of Music (Cleveland, OH, USA)

Zoltán Fejérvári