In There Is No Love, Davies, Sylvian and Wastell offer a sparse and brooding setting of Bernard Marie Koltès’ text – part of a longer play from 1985 - in which its two characters, named only the Dealer and Buyer, are barely more than ciphers, their ghostly figures enacting a mysterious negotiation in a crepuscular world where emotional engagement has departed in place of commodified exchange (“There is no love”.) What, exactly, is being bought and sold is never revealed, yet Sylvian’s careful enunciation bristles with implicit violence and desire.
Of all English songwriters, John Dowland has enjoyed the most powerful afterlife, his voice unmistakably present in any version of his songs. The preeminent marriage of music and poetry, the nuanced shades of wit and melancholy and the extraordinary writing for both lute and voice all combine to proclaim Dowland as the father of English song.
Alun Davies' only solo album as of 2008 was Daydo, released in 1972. Much of the material was written as early as 1970, but this was just prior to Davies' introduction, backup work, and devoted friendship with Cat Stevens. With the intention of releasing the material as soon as possible, Davies bemoaned the fact that he had so little time to debut his own work, but stated that he had no regrets. The LP at last was released in the summer of 1972.
British countertenor Iestyn Davies is one of the fastest rising stars on the concert and opera circuit. Following his highly acclaimed recording of Porpora cantatas, he returns for a second solo album with Hyperion, a selection of arias written for Gaetano Guadagni. Italian-born Guadagni was the first ‘modern’ castrato, famed all over Europe for the lyric purity of his voice and his powerful, naturalistic acting style. Not only did he enjoy a close artistic relationship with Handel, who nurtured Guadagni’s voice to fit the alto roles in his English oratorios, but he effectively created the role of Orpheus in Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice, an opera he thoroughly made his own. Here, Iestyn Davies is joined again by the renowned period-instrument band Arcangelo, directed by Jonathan Cohen.