Friday, 20 July 2018

da Milano - A Decoration of Silence - North


Rating: 5/5

Review:
An excellent disc


This is yet another excellent disc from the great Nigel North.  It is the second in a projected series of three discs of da Milano, nicknamed "Il Divino" with some justification.

The music is lovely; a wide selection of pieces with a variety of feel and atmosphere and all full of melodic and harmonic invention.  North plays it beautifully, of course.  He is one of the world's finest lutenists and is completely at home here; I already have much-loved discs of da Milano by both Paul O'Dette and Hopkinson Smith, and this is at least their equal.  North's style and tone is perhaps a little more mellow, which for me suits this music very well.

The recorded sound is excellent and this is a very fine disc all round.  Warmly recommended.

Monday, 9 July 2018

Jakob Lindberg - Nocturnal


Rating: 5/5

Review:
An outstanding disc


Nocturnal is yet another first-rate disc from Jakob Lindberg.  He has, of course, been one of the world's greatest lutenists for many years and this is well up to his usual phenomenal standard.

Nocturnal is a collection of English lute pieces by the greats of the Elizabethan era, plus a transcription of Britten's Nocturnal After John Dowland.  Many familiar composers are featured; Dowland himself, of course, Holborne, Bacheler and others, and I was very pleased to be introduced to the music of Edward Collard.  All of it is excellent and quite beautifully played.  Lindberg has a deep understanding of this repertoire and an exquisite touch.  His instruments sound lovely and are, as always, superbly recorded by BIS.

This is, in short, an outstanding disc of wonderful music played by a true master.  Very warmly recommended.

Wednesday, 4 July 2018

Weiss - Suites for Lute - Junghanel


Rating: 5/5

Review:
An excellent disc


This is an excellent disc of Weiss's lute music.  There are some superb recordings of Weiss available – notably for me by Jakob Lindberg and Robert Barto – but this stands with them, I think.

Weiss, held to be the foremost lutenist of his time, was an almost exact contemporary of Bach and so his time was the last flowering of Baroque lute music. He left a huge and very distinguished legacy of compositions, which really show the true beauty and versatility of the lute. All of the music is full of melodic invention and Weiss's mastery of his instrument is clear from the richness of the harmonic structures.  Konrad Junghänel brings all of this out beautifully; he is a fine lutenist and is absolutely at home in this repertoire, so Weiss's music blossoms in his hands.  His lute sounds simply lovely and is beautifully recorded by Glossa.

You simply can't go wrong woth this disc, in my view.  It's lovely music, superbly played and recorded, and very warmly recommended.