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Harp Music of the Italian Renaissance (1986)

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Harp Music of the Italian Renaissance (1986)

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Giovanni Maria Trabaci
01. Toccata Seconda & Ligature
02. Gagliarda a 4, la Talinella
03. Ancidetemi pur 
04. Gagliarda Terza a 5, sopra La Matoana
05. Partite sopra Zefiro 
06. Gagliarda Quarta, alla Spagnola 
Cesare Negri
07. La Barriera
08. Vergine Bella
Cesare Negri
09. Brando per Quattro Pastore e Quattro Ninfe 
Ascanio Mayone
10. Toccata Prima
11. Gagliarda Prima
 Fabrizio Fillimarino
12. Canzon Cromatica
Giuliano Caccini
13. Amarilli mia bella

Andrew Lawrence-King 	- Harp (Arpa Doppia)


I believe that this was Andrew Lawrence-King's first recording (1986), and this sterling effort is ample proof of why he went on to become a well-established figure in his field. He has appeared on numerous recordings, including many with Jordi Savall's Hesperian XX, and is currently the director of the Harp Consort. The program is both musically interesting and eminently listenable; given Lawrence-King's credentials (he won an Organ Scholarship to Selwyn College, Cambridge and completed his studies at the London Early Music Centre) his understanding of the material is unquestionably comprehensive. His technical execution is equally impressive.

Half of the disc is taken up by six pieces from Trabaci, a harpist, organist and singer who was an important forerunner of Frescobaldi; the remainder comes from a variety of composers all of whom lived between the late sixteenth and mid-seventeenth centuries. If the music itself sounds like it could just as easily be heard on the lute or keyboard, that's because it originally was. In fact, all of the pieces here were written for these instruments (or voice), as very little music that was written for harp during this period has survived. The chromatic double harp is an ideal vehicle for these works, which range from love songs and dance music to madrigals. There's a peaceful simplicity to much of this music that transports the listener to another place and time.

I'm not surprised that in a 1987 review, Gramophone's critic called this disc "an impressive debut, beautifully recorded, certain to win new friends for the harp as a medium for this music..." I agree. ---jsa, amazon.com

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