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Great charm

Venetian lute music -
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'... sensitive playing on a good instrument in real acoustics ...'

Il liuto a Venezia - Venetian lute music of the Renaissance. © 2002 Nalesso Records

The disc is entitled Il liuto a Venezia -- Musiche manoscritte e stampe venezian del Rinascimento, which in crude translation means 'Venetian Lute Music, from manuscripts and printed music in Venice from the Renaissance'. This is a fine recording by Cristiano Nalesso of a superb performance by Massimo Lonardi recorded in Venice in the warm acoustics of the 'sala della conclave' of the church of San Giorgio Maggiore. With Lonardi's sensitive playing on a good instrument in real acoustics the result is very good. The quality of all of these factors make it truly Venetian [listen -- track 1, 0:16-1:02].

With the current development of thinking, after Jerry Brotton wrote his book The Renaissance Bazaar we are beginning to realise that the creation of the concept of the Renaissance by Giorgio Vasari in his book Lives of the Artists as a Eurocentric phenomenon was either a brilliant piece of advertising or a mistake, probably the former. The whole complex of economics and culture of east and west was developing fast, not just Europe. Venice at this period had been trading with the advanced countries around the eastern Mediterranean for hundreds of years. This being so Venice was at the centre rather than the edge of this development. If the Venetians were able to collect bronze horses they were certainly capable of collecting music from other countries. And, of course, music would be collected by other cultures from Venice. However, in spite of this constant flow any place with an integrated culture will develop its own music and integrate ideas into this. Add to this fact the special needs of the culture and community of a place that shows itself in the architecture and its acoustics then every place has its own musical character. This is especially true of Venice. This carefully selected collection of very Venetian lute music of great charm demonstrates the point [listen -- track 17, 1:17-1:49].

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Copyright © 9 February 2006 Peter G Howell, Shropshire UK


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