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David Tanenbaum : Lute Masterworks : CD

David Tanenbaum

DA MILANO: 1) Fantasia No40; 2) Ricerar No3; 3) Fantasia de Mon Trist No36; 4) Fantasia No8; 5) Ricerar No5; 6)Ricerar (La Compagna ) No34: DOWLAND: 7) A Fantasie No1a; 8) Forlorn Hope Fancy No2; 9) A Fancy No73 ; 10) Farewell No3 : J.S. BACH: 11) – 14): Lute Suite BWV995.

Innova -- in House: B000000KL27

The American guitarist David Tanenbaum here portrays his love of the music written for the Lute. Originally released in the 1980s, this recording highlights three of the Lute’s finest composers, and if you do not( for some reason) want to hear these pieces played on the original instruments, then the next best thing is to hear them played so beautifully on the guitar.

The first composer on this recording, Francesco Canova da Milano (1497 –1543) was Italian, and worked for the papal court for almost his entire career. Francesco was heralded throughout Europe as the foremost lute composer of his time. More of his music is preserved than of any other lutenist of his period and her David Tanenbaum brings us six of his very best in the form of Ricerars and Fantasias, both very common forms of that time. The clarity of the part – writing is particularly important on lute music and Tanenbaum does not disappoint. The very stately style he writes in is superbly portrayed here.

Of course with John Dowland you are entering the territory of one of the, if not the best Lute composer of his time. The four pieces played here are just a minimal proportion of his oeuvre, and although his music does have a wide range of styles and forms, Tanenbaum here again chooses a similar set of pieces with Fantasias, and Fancies chosen again. The serious nature of some of this music only helps to show us all just how effective his music is when played by a master of his art, as is here.

The final Bach suite is of course one of the very best of its kind and originally written for the Baroque Lute, quite another instrument altogether from its Renaissance predecessor. There are players who spend their whole lives playing Bach, and still find something in it to keep playing it day after day, week after week, and year after year, so exceptional is it. This 20 + minutes is a very good performance, and a nice recording but there are so many different recordings of this music that all I can say is that this one here is a very competent one, and whilst there is nothing wrong at all with it, there are dozens, if not hundreds to choose from and the choice is almost endless.

So in summation, this is a very good recording of some timeless music by a great guitarist. The recording is very clear and nicely close and the performances are as good as you can expect from such a top notch player as Tanenbaum.

Chris Dumigan

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