John Dowland (1563 – 1626) was an English Renaissance
composer, singer, and lutenist. He is best known today
for his melancholy songs such as "Come, heavy sleep"
(the basis for Benjamin Britten's Nocturnal), "Come
again", "Flow my tears", "I saw my Lady weepe" and "In
darkness let me dwell", but his instrumental music has
undergone a major revival, and with the 20th century's
Early Music Revival has been a continuing source of
repertoire for lutenists and classical guitarists.
"Flow My Tears" is a lute song (specifically, an
"ayre") was originally composed as an instrumental
under the name Lachrimae pavane in 1596, it is
Dowland's most famous ayre, and became his signature
song, literally as well as metaphorically: he would
occasionally sign his name "Jo. Dolandi de
Although originally written for Voice and Continuo, I
created this arrangement for a non-standard trio (Oboe,
French Horn & Bassoon).