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Relic: Music For The French Lute

Dufaut / Gallot / Mercure / Pinel / Ericson
Release Date: 01/31/2012 
Label:  Daphne   Catalog #: 1042   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  François DufautJacques GallotJean MercureGermain Pinel
Performer:  Anders Ericson
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 54 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

An unusual lute recital makes for a rewarding listen.

Anders Ericson’s excellent liner notes warn that the French baroque lute tradition may not be as instantly likable as the snappy, melodic songs of a John Dowland. That’s true, and it’s also true that these works are never as ‘developed’ or downright snappy as the composers who came a generation or two later (like Silvius Weiss). But I really had no trouble genuinely liking this music, let alone Ericson’s tender, evocative playing.

The French composers of the mid-1600s were most interested in expanding the range and technical ability of the lute, dabbling especially in a variety of new tunings. Catchy tunes and lyrical hooks were not as important to them
Read more as creating new textures, sounds, and techniques. The ultimate product would be a more closely unified “French school” of lute playing, but the works here are from the experimental period before that, a period in which Ericson is apparently a specialist.

The works here are all miniatures (topping out at 4 minutes) yoked not really into suites but groupings: from Jacques Gallot, for instance, we get a group of “Pieces in A minor.” Gallot is joined by François Dufaut, Jean Mercure, and Germain Plinel, all of whom are unknown to me but all of whom receive engagingly colorful biographies in Ericson’s liner notes, except Mercure, about whom little is known except that he worked at the English court. Dufaut’s pieces exhibit admirable mastery with their compact forms, while Gallot prefers a slightly greater measure of freedom, structurally and harmonically. Pinel, who gets the most time of the four, was lutenist to Louis XIV and indulged more than the other three in difficult fast passages and structural quirks - like the way the prelude seems to end hanging in midair. Ericson suggests that he might have been an influence on Couperin.

Anders Ericson is an interesting figure on his own. This, his debut lute album, demonstrates technical mastery of the instrument - though he says, modestly, that the music is not all that hard once you get past the novel tunings - and a sensitive touch which belies the claim, repeated but not endorsed in the notes, that this music is hard to listen to. Those notes are an excellent guide, too, and a sign of the performer’s scholarship. Which makes it all the more interesting that Ericson’s “day job” is as a heavy metal guitarist. He’s recorded three albums with a progressive metal supergroup called Beyond Twilight. Metal is not really my thing, but I hope that this side of Ericson’s career will be as fruitful as that one is. While it may be true that this music will not grab listeners unacclimated to the lute as immediately as Dowland or Bach might, for those of us who enjoy or love the instrument the recital will prove a treasure. I hope there is more to come.

-- Brian Reinhart, MusicWeb International
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Works on This Recording

1.
Prelude, for lute by François Dufaut
Performer:  Anders Ericson (Lute)
Period: Baroque 
Venue:  Uppenbarelsekyrkan, Saltsjöbaden 
Length: 1 Minutes 46 Secs. 
2.
Allemande, for lute (1631) by François Dufaut
Performer:  Anders Ericson (Lute)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1631 
Venue:  Uppenbarelsekyrkan, Saltsjöbaden 
Length: 3 Minutes 6 Secs. 
3.
Courante, for lute by François Dufaut
Performer:  Anders Ericson (Lute)
Period: Baroque 
Venue:  Uppenbarelsekyrkan, Saltsjöbaden 
Length: 2 Minutes 6 Secs. 
4.
Sarabande (Double), for lute by François Dufaut
Performer:  Anders Ericson (Lute)
Period: Baroque 
Venue:  Uppenbarelsekyrkan, Saltsjöbaden 
Length: 2 Minutes 16 Secs. 
5.
Allemande le Bout de l'An de Mr Gautier by Jacques Gallot
Performer:  Anders Ericson (Lute)
Period: Baroque 
Written: France 
Venue:  Uppenbarelsekyrkan, Saltsjöbaden 
Length: 3 Minutes 24 Secs. 
6.
Courante for lute in A minor by Jacques Gallot
Performer:  Anders Ericson (Lute)
Period: Baroque 
Venue:  Uppenbarelsekyrkan, Saltsjöbaden 
Length: 2 Minutes 37 Secs. 
7.
Allemande Oesope ridicule for lute in A minor by Jacques Gallot
Performer:  Anders Ericson (Lute)
Period: Baroque 
Venue:  Uppenbarelsekyrkan, Saltsjöbaden 
Length: 4 Minutes 11 Secs. 
8.
Volte la Brugeoise by Jacques Gallot
Performer:  Anders Ericson (Lute)
Period: Baroque 
Venue:  Uppenbarelsekyrkan, Saltsjöbaden 
Length: 2 Minutes 21 Secs. 
9.
Allemande for lute in A minor by Jean Mercure
Performer:  Anders Ericson (Lute)
Venue:  Uppenbarelsekyrkan, Saltsjöbaden 
Length: 2 Minutes 46 Secs. 
10.
Courante for lute in A minor by Jean Mercure
Performer:  Anders Ericson (Lute)
Venue:  Uppenbarelsekyrkan, Saltsjöbaden 
Length: 1 Minutes 39 Secs. 
11.
Sarabande for lute in A minor by Jean Mercure
Performer:  Anders Ericson (Lute)
Venue:  Uppenbarelsekyrkan, Saltsjöbaden 
Length: 1 Minutes 42 Secs. 
12.
Gigue for lute in A minor by Jean Mercure
Performer:  Anders Ericson (Lute)
Venue:  Uppenbarelsekyrkan, Saltsjöbaden 
Length: 1 Minutes 23 Secs. 
13.
Prélude (from Manuscrit Ottobeuren) by Germain Pinel
Performer:  Anders Ericson (Lute)
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1662; France 
Venue:  Uppenbarelsekyrkan, Saltsjöbaden 
Length: 1 Minutes 52 Secs. 
14.
Allemande for lute in D minor by Germain Pinel
Performer:  Anders Ericson (Lute)
Period: Baroque 
Venue:  Uppenbarelsekyrkan, Saltsjöbaden 
Length: 3 Minutes 31 Secs. 
15.
Courante for lute in D minor by Germain Pinel
Performer:  Anders Ericson (Lute)
Period: Baroque 
Venue:  Uppenbarelsekyrkan, Saltsjöbaden 
Length: 2 Minutes 7 Secs. 
16.
Branle des Frondeurs for lute in D minor by Germain Pinel
Performer:  Anders Ericson (Lute)
Period: Baroque 
Venue:  Uppenbarelsekyrkan, Saltsjöbaden 
Length: 1 Minutes 5 Secs. 
17.
Gigue for lute in D minor by Germain Pinel
Performer:  Anders Ericson (Lute)
Period: Baroque 
Venue:  Uppenbarelsekyrkan, Saltsjöbaden 
Length: 2 Minutes 4 Secs. 
18.
Prelude for lute in A minor by Jacques Gallot
Performer:  Anders Ericson (Lute)
Period: Baroque 
Venue:  Uppenbarelsekyrkan, Saltsjöbaden 
Length: 1 Minutes 45 Secs. 

Sound Samples

Pieces in G minor: I. Prelude
Pieces in G minor: II. Allemande
Pieces in G minor: III. Courante I
Pieces in G minor: IV. Courante II
Pieces in G minor: V. Courante III
Pieces in G minor: VI. Sarabande
Pieces in A minor: I. Prelude
Pieces in A minor: II. Allemande le Bout de l'An de Mr. Gautier
Pieces in A minor: III. Courante
Pieces in A minor: IV. Allemande Oescope ridicle
Pieces in A minor: V. Volte la Brugeoise
Pieces in A minor: I. Allemande
Pieces in A minor: II. Courante
Pieces in A minor: III. Sarabande
Pieces in A minor: IV. Courante
Pieces in A minor: V. Gigue
Pieces in D minor: I. Prelude
Pieces in D minor: II. Allemande
Pieces in D minor: III. Courante
Pieces in D minor: IV. Allemande
Pieces in D minor: V. Courante
Pieces in D minor: VI. Branle des Frondeurs
Pieces in D minor: VII. Courante
Pieces in D minor: VIII. Gigue

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