appears on more than 100 CD recordings. The following is a selection
of the most recent, and those including significant solo material, and
/ or unusual instruments.
with my lute. A recital of renaissance music. Classical Communications
Ltd, CCL CDG1114. Available from www.thegiftofmusic.com
16th century journey beginning in Venice c.1500 and travelling to London
c.1600, by way of Milan, Nürnberg and Paris. Music by Dalza, Francesco
da Milano, H. Neusidler, Attaignant, Le Roy, Holborne, Dowland and others,
performed on 6 and 7 course G lutes, and bass lute.
Tallis, The Complete Works, Volume 9. Instrumental Music and Songs.
Signum, SIGCD042. Available from Signum
an extraordinarily complex solo lute transcription of a keyboard 'Felix
Namque' from one of Matthew Holmes's lute manuscripts, and five lute
songs sung by Stephen Taylor (countertenor), plus keyboard solos played
by Laurence Cummings (virginals) and Andrew Benson-Wilson (organ), and
consort music performed by the viols of Charivari Agréable.
Choice, Gramophone, December 2004: "A collection of delights ...
Particularly noteworthy is the intricate lute version of Felix namque..."
highlight ... was the astonishing lute-solo version of Felix namque
II, played brilliantly by Lynda Sayce." Early Music Review, December
An Ode for St Cecilia's Day / Cecilia, Volgi un sguardo.
Hyperion, CDA67463. Available from Hyperion
choice, Gramophone, October 2004.
Sampson (soprano), James Gilchrist (tenor), The King's Consort, Choir
of The King's Consort, directed by Robert King.
well as the expected flute (here played exquisitely by Rachel Brown),
Handel included a beautiful 'warbling lute' obbligato in the aria 'The
soft complaining flute'. The arpeggiated sections of the lute part lie
in a puzzlingly low register, and I have here interpreted them as harmonic
sketches and re-voiced them in a more idiomatic register for the D minor
lute on which the obbligato is played. I hope that it now warbles rather
Perfecte Harmonie. Classical Communications
Ltd, CDG1103. Available
international programme of renaissance lute duets with Matthew Spring,
on lutes of several sizes, and vihuela: works by Thomas Robinson, John
Dowland, John Johnson, Francesco da Milano, Vincenzo Galilei, and others.
Caelestis: Caprice and Conceit in Seicento Italy.
Signum SIGCD049. Available from Signum
Agréable with Jamie Savan (cornett & mute cornett) and Oliver
Webber (violin and viola). For lute afficionados this disc includes
obbligato bass parts played on chitarrone and bass lute, my reconstruction
of a guitar solo possibly by Filippo Piccinini, and Terzi's divisions
on Vestiva i colli, originally for bass lute but here played with spectacular
virtuosity by Susanne Heinrich on viola da gamba. This was my last recording
Vespro Della Beata Vergine.
Yorkshire Bach Choir, directed by Peter Seymour. Cloister, CLOCD0304,
available from Cloister
A rare opportunity
to hear the continuo-only form of Monteverdi's 1610 Vespers, with the
6-part Magnificat instead of the more frequently performed 7-part version.
Ex Cathedra, directed by Jeffrey Skidmore. Hyperion,
CDA67380. Available from Hyperion
17th century works from the New World. Composers include Araujo, Padilla,
Lobo and Zipoli.
is one of the most eye-opening CDs - or should I say ear-opening - that
I have heard this year. What a magical concoction of sounds - and what
brilliant playing!" Henry Kellys CD of the week, Classic
Ex Cathedra has unearthed some magnificent music here; there are
plenty of fascinating discoveries performed with great feeling and panache,
and with potent seasong from the period instruments. The disc has the
makings of a bestseller, and certainly deserves to be Geoffrey
Norris, selecting The Telegraphs CD of the Week
Messe à Quatre Choeurs / Le reniement de St. Pierre / Salve Regina.
Ex Cathedra, directed by Jeffrey Skidmore. Hyperion CDA67435, available
from Hyperion Records.
Skidmore and his ensemble's expertise has long been established and
is everywhere apparent here. The blend of the vocal line is superb and
the handling of ornament is little short of breathtaking.... (BBC
Music Magazine, April 2004)
a choir, gutsy when required, but flexible enough to cope with Charpentier's
ever-changing choiral configurations
this is a thrilling release,
and I heartily recommend it. (International Record Review, March
Such is the quite exceptional quality of these performances,
and the sheer splendor of the sound Hyperion's engineers have produced...
Suffice it to say that Skidmore once again demonstrates his total empathy
with French Baroque repertoire, inspiring his large choral forces to
performances that capture a huge gamut of emotions ranging from thrilling
grandeur to heartbreaking sublimity. The issue is an absolutely magnificent
achievement all round. (Fanfare, March 2004)
Queen's Goodnight. Charivari Agréable. Signum SIGCD020, available
from Signum Records. Music
for viol, lute and keyboards, celebrating the 400th anniversary of the
death of Queen Elizabeth I in 2003. Works by Byrd, Gibbons, Johnson,
Dowland, Hume, Allison, Robinson, etc.
other hands, a series of four tracks for solo lute in the middle of
a CD could be a mistake, but superb playing makes this a magical moment."
Early Music News, November 2002.
sum a delightful disc, and a treasure trove of pieces that are very
rarely heard." BBC Music Magazine, November, 2002.
for Gainsborough. Charivari Agréable, with Reiko Ichise. Signum
SIGCD026. Available from Signum
Records. Works by Abel, J.C.Bach, R.Straube, F. de Giardini, T.
rare opportunity to hear mandora continuo, and some of the lute works
of Rudolf Straube, a pupil of J.S.Bach. Another highlight is Kah-Ming
Ng's virtuosic account of a J.C.Bach sonata on an original 1776 Kirkman
Sayce plays her dark 13-string instrument with full expression, clarity,
cleanness, and flexibility." American Record Guide, Jan./Feb. 2001
ingenious collection, focused on the pre-eminent 18th-century portrait
painter, presents a highly entertaining selection of Georgian compositions
by London-based composers all of whom were the painter's friends. Particularly
impressive and completely unknown to me were a number of pieces by Rudolf
Straube for 13-course lute, beautifully interpreted and executed by
Lynda Sayce." D. James Ross, Early Music Forum of Scotland.
Fitzwilliam Virginal Book: Transcriptions for a Mixed Consort. Signum
SIGCD009, available from Signum
Records. Keyboard solos arranged Elizabethan-style, for forces ranging
from solo lute to 6-part mixed consort with voice. Lute tracks include
a solo arrangement of Orlando Gibbons' 'The Lord of Salisbury his Pavan',
and a duet version (with Jacob Heringman) of Giles Farnaby's 'Loth to
two seven-course lutes playing Farnaby's 'Loth to depart' are pure magic."
American Record Guide, May 2000.
solo lute version of Gibbons's majestic The Lord of Salisbury his Pavan
has a stylish poise and clarity of part-playing that would be hard to
equal on the less flexible virginals." Gramophone.
Upon A Ground. Charivari Agréable, with Susanna Pell. Signum
SIGCD007. Available from Signum
Records. Divisions by Christopher Simpson and John Jenkins, plus
music by William Lawes, Ennemond Gaultier, Tobias Hume, Godfrey Finger,
Henry Purcell and Thomas Tomkins.
rare opportunity to hear a double-strung English theorbo, playing both
continuo and solo (in my arrangement of Gaultier's 'La pompe funebre'.
for Philip of Spain and his Four Wives. Charivari Agréable,
with Nicki Kennedy (soprano) and Rodrigo del Pozo (tenor). Signum SIGCD006.
Available from Signum Records.
Music from the Spanish court of Philip II, and from those of his Austrian,
Portuguese, English and French wives. Includes vihuela songs and solos
by Milan, Pisador and Valderrabano.
An imaginative and polished recording of 16th- and early 17th-century
music that effectively conjures up the musical life and times of the
court of Philip II. Each of the three regular members of the ensemble
has contributed tasteful and plausible arrangements of works, relying
to a great extent on Susanne Heinrichs deeply evocative viol playing
and Lynda Sayces stylish and accomplished vihuela accompaniments."
Triumphans". Ann Murray, Maria Cristina Kiehr, Susan Bickley,
Sarah Connolly, Jean Rigby, Choir of The King's Consort, The King's
Consort, directed by Robert King. Hyperion CDA678281/2, available from
most colourful of Vivaldi's surviving oratorios includes obbligato parts
for just about everything, including four theorbos portraying the clatter
and bustle as servants prepare for a feast. The highlight for me was
accompanying Ann Murray with an obbligato on baroque mandolin.
for the Prince of Poland. The Academy of Ancient Music, directed
by Andrew Manze. Harmonia Mundi, HMU 907230.
baroque mandolin had another outing here, in Vivaldi's hilarious Concerto
RV558, for 2 recorders, 2 chalumeaux, 2 mandolins, 2 theorbos, 2 violins
'in tromba marina', cello and strings. The disc also includes a beautiful
performance of Vivaldi's concerto RV540 for lute and viola d'amore,
played by Nigel North and Andrew Manze.