Jeffry Hamilton Steele
Voice and Guitar Recitals
Jeffry & Kristina photosJeffry Steele guitar Kristina Martin soprano, voice, recorder

Chrystall Teares, Fine Knacks & Fantasies
The Music of John Dowland (1563-1626)

"The Lowest Trees Have Tops" (from 5/15/99 concert) [MP3 audio, 1.5 MB].


The lowest trees have tops, the ant her gall,
The fly her spleen, the little spark his heat,
And slender hairs cast shadows though but small,
And bees have stings although they be not great.
Seas have their source,
And so have shallow springs.
And love is love in beggars and in kings.
Where waters smoothest run, deep are the fords.
The dial stirs, yet none perceives it move.
The firmest faith is in the fewest words.
The turtles cannot sing, and yet they love.
True hearts have eyes and ears,
No tongues to speak:
They hear, and see, and sigh,
And then they break.
-- attributed to Sir Edward Dyer
Come Again
Wilt Thou, Unkind, Thus Reave Me?
Mrs Vaux's Galliard
Mrs Vaux's Jig
Flow My Tears
Bacheler's Galliard
Piper's Galliard (w/alto recorder)
If My Complaints Could Passions Move
Captain Digorie Piper's Galliard
Piper's Pavan
Fine Knacks for Ladies
Clifton's Almain
Now, O Now, I Needs Must Part
The Frog Galliard (w/alto recorder)
Mr. Knight's Galliard
Weep You No More Sad Fountains
Weep you no more Sad Fountains (guitar solo)
The Lowest Trees Have Tops
Go Chrystal Tears
In Darkness Let Me Dwell
The Right Honorable Robert, Earle of Essex, His Galliard
Can She Excuse My Wrongs?

Sample program notes:

Captain Digorie Piper's Galliard

Captain Digorie Piper was in Queen Elizabeth's navy and assigned to pirate Spanish ships, which he so enjoyed that he took it upon himself to pirate ships from other countries as well. Dowland must have felt a loyal friendship to Piper, as he went ahead and published pieces inscribed to the convicted pirate while employed by King Christian of Denmark -- whose ships had been preyed upon by none other than Captain Piper. It is performed here first in transcription of the 5-part consort version, followed by the lute song based upon it, the solo lute version and finally the Pavane.

The Right Honorable Robert, Earle of Essex, His Galliard

This virtuosic romp in counterpoint is based on the song "Can She Excuse My Wrongs" which Dowland wrote about the love/hate relationship between the Earl of Essex and Queen Elizabeth. After Robert was executed, at the Queen's orders, for attempting an uprising against her, Dowland made his loyalty to his "right honorable" friend (and perhaps his bitterness towards to Queen) quite obvious to all through the publication of this galliard -- its unwieldy title likely to command attention.