The Slipped Disc daily comfort zone (114): Rock attacks baroque

The Slipped Disc daily comfort zone (114): Rock attacks baroque


norman lebrecht

July 07, 2020

Sting attempts Dowland.

Yes? Or no.


  • Dragonetti says:

    No x10,000. Great rocker, terrible at this.

  • Hilary says:

    Dowland being firmly in the early Renaissance, there’s possibly an element of wishful thinking here?
    When Sting takes on board Handel, Bach , Charpentier and Rameau this headline would certainly be a catchy fit for the contents.

  • NN says:

    John Dowland is not a Baroque composer (he was a Renaissance man) and Sting doesn’t attack him.

  • Rob Kearley says:

    I prefer Iestyn Davies and Thomas Dunford performing Sting – an altogether more successful experiment.

  • MWnyc says:

    No, Sting is not my ideal Dowland singer, but I have heard worse Dowland from some classical singers. At least Sting makes the words clear.

  • Opera fan says:

    The version of Stravinsky’s Soldier’s Tale with Sting, Vanessa Redgrave, and Ian McKellen was terrific. This, no so much.

  • Thomas Dawkins says:

    Yes. Dowland isn’t only for singers with flute-like voices, and he pours the emotion into the text, which, to me, is the mark of success for this kind of song. I’ve said many times that while I may not agree with all of the choices made in the performance, I’m very happy that there were strong enough choices made with which I can disagree!

  • MSC says:

    O Sting, where is thy death? O.k., that’s just for a really bad pun. I like his solo work a lot, but with only a couple of exceptions I don’t think the Dowland worked. I hope, however, other non-classical singers give the wide repertoire of lute songs a try. It’s a promising field with a lot of sadly less known music.

  • Pianofortissimo says:

    This guy needs studio conditions and electronic voice modulation to “sing”. MAO he can’t do it unwired. He can’t even just talk – anybody who listened to his narrative of Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf?

  • Ira says:

    I’ve no words (not does he it seems)!

  • I’ve only heard a few from this project but I appreciate that it is an endeavor to put these Renaissance songs over as they are and not trying to modernize them for the impatient children who need a rhythm track to know that it is music.

  • Greg Bottini says:

    I liked it very much.
    I think the negative comments on Sting’s Dowland performance come from the old fogy faction among classical music “connoisseurs”, who have a knee-jerk reaction against anything that even hints of non-conformity.
    If it were a blind listening, so to speak, there would be a much different reaction.
    Sting obviously understands the song, he sings it with feeling and in tune and with quite decent diction. Of course, the quality of his voice is unique, but that is true with all memorable singers in any musical discipline. And the accompaniment was lovely.
    The video was too stagey, and I never cared for lip-synching, but how many opera videos are much worse in both regards?

  • KANANPOIKA says:

    Hmmmmm….remember “Classical Barbra”……?

  • christopher storey says:

    In darkness let him dwell – if only