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A Meeting Place - Medieval & Renaissance Music For Lute & Ud / Denhard, Beken

Beken / Denhard
Release Date: 05/31/2011 
Label:  Sono Luminus   Catalog #: 92133   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  TraditionalJoan Ambrosio DalzaAnonymousDiego Ortiz,   ... 
Performer:  August DenhardMunir Nurettin Beken
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 50 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Delicious and subtle, atmospheric and communicative.

I have learned a great deal about the ud in recent years since becoming a member of an ensemble which plays traditional music from Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean. One of the ensemble members actually makes his own ud, and remarkably beautiful instruments they are indeed. He’s also a former primary school teacher, so each concert we do includes a brief and informative lecture on the history of the ud, and how easy it is to ruin a soundboard just when it’s nearly finished; after hours and hours of painstaking paring and planning.

If you look at the cover picture for this CD, you’ll see the ud in front and the lute behind. The ud is a forerunner of
Read more the lute, and, having no frets and more frequently played with a plectrum, is suited to playing expressive melody as well as strumming chords. On the CD this can be heard in the right channel, with the ud taking most of the melodic material, the lute providing harmony or the second voice in places with two-part counterpoint, such as the Estampie Fragment on track three. The roles can be reversed however, and the distinctive contrast in colour of sound is heard clearly where the lute takes on the melody in Diego Ortiz’s Recercada I. The CD booklet notes succinctly summarise the historical path by which it is thought that the lute emerged from the ud. Moorish musicians brought the ud to Spain where it would have become familiar in the royal courts as well as in popular culture, and it is also possible that Europeans may have heard it on the Crusades of the 13th century. Lute players began by using the plectrum with its emphasis on single melodic lines in a similar way to the ud, and then moved away from it as music developed in polyphonic complexity in the later medieval period, creating the multi-fingered renaissance effects we are familiar with today. Münir Nurettin Beken and August Denhard explore both aspects of these performance traditions, showing where they meet and diverge during the Middle Ages and Renaissance in a programme which has plenty of variety.

As you can imagine, this music is relatively simple on first impression, with open harmonies, and gently undulating melodies which reflect the vocal style of the era. Each piece shows different nuances and possibilities from the instruments, and the programme has been well chosen. Estampie IV for instance, has both instruments playing a single melody in unison, something which creates a fascinatingly timeless and universal effect. The ear is led into these sonorities gently, opening with the famously familiar Greensleeves; given contrast of texture in pieces like da Bologna’s Aspire refus contre doulce priere with its atmospheric tremolo effects, and introduced lively to dances such as the Saltarello as well as more frequent lyrical pieces. The programme is brought right up to date with a contemporary finale, Buselik Saz Semaisi by Mutlo Torun, which combines lyric charm with a gently Turkish frisson of mildly non-Western but attractive tonality and rhythm.

There are too many genuinely beautiful works to name on this CD, each played with sensitivity and improvisatory freshness by both players, and recorded with intimate clarity in a pleasant acoustic. This is the kind of recording which will create atmosphere for your candle-lit dinner and pour balm on your fevered high-tech 21 st century soul, but is far more than just consumer-fodder. The sense of falling backwards into a lost era of human communication through music is very strong here, and these musicians have indeed created a genuine ‘meeting place’ for two delicious sounding instruments and us, the meltingly appreciative audience.

-- Dominy Clements, MusicWeb International
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Works on This Recording

1. Greensleeves by Traditional
Performer:  August Denhard (Lute), Munir Nurettin Beken (Oud)
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; England 
Length: 2 Minutes 10 Secs. 
2. Piva, for 2 lutes by Joan Ambrosio Dalza
Performer:  August Denhard (Lute), Munir Nurettin Beken (Oud)
Period: Renaissance 
Length: 2 Minutes 32 Secs. 
3. Estampie fragment by Anonymous
Performer:  August Denhard (Lute), Munir Nurettin Beken (Oud)
Period: Renaissance 
Length: 1 Minutes 38 Secs. 
4. Trattado de glosas: Recercada primera by Diego Ortiz
Performer:  August Denhard (Lute), Munir Nurettin Beken (Oud)
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1553 
Length: 3 Minutes 22 Secs. 
5. Nota I by Anonymous
Performer:  August Denhard (Lute), Munir Nurettin Beken (Oud)
Length: 1 Minutes 34 Secs. 
6. Estampie by Anonymous
Performer:  August Denhard (Lute), Munir Nurettin Beken (Oud)
Period: Medieval 
Written: France 
Length: 3 Minutes 34 Secs. 
7. Lamento di Tristano & La Rotta by Anonymous
Performer:  August Denhard (Lute), Munir Nurettin Beken (Oud)
Length: 2 Minutes 44 Secs. 
8. Spagna by Francesco Canova da Milan
Performer:  August Denhard (Lute), Munir Nurettin Beken (Oud)
Period: Renaissance 
Length: 2 Minutes 9 Secs. 
9. Nota by Anonymous
Performer:  August Denhard (Lute), Munir Nurettin Beken (Oud)
Period: Medieval 
Length: 2 Minutes 11 Secs. 
10. La Manfredina by Anonymous
Performer:  August Denhard (Lute), Munir Nurettin Beken (Oud)
Period: Medieval 
Written: 14th Century 
Length: 1 Minutes 6 Secs. 
11. Douce dame jolie, pour Dieu by Guillaume de Machaut
Performer:  August Denhard (Lute), Munir Nurettin Beken (Oud)
Period: Medieval 
Written: 14th Century; France 
Length: 3 Minutes 31 Secs. 
12. Belle Fiore Dansa by Anonymous
Performer:  August Denhard (Lute), Munir Nurettin Beken (Oud)
Length: 2 Minutes 36 Secs. 
13. Untitled (I), for lute (from the Rowallen Manuscript) by Anonymous
Performer:  August Denhard (Lute), Munir Nurettin Beken (Oud)
Written: by 1609 
Length: 1 Minutes 34 Secs. 
14. Un fior gentil m'apparse, song for 3 voices by Antonio Zacara da Teramo
Performer:  August Denhard (Lute), Munir Nurettin Beken (Oud)
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1410 
Length: 2 Minutes 8 Secs. 
15. Calata No. 4 "a la spagnola", for lute by Joan Ambrosio Dalza
Performer:  August Denhard (Lute), Munir Nurettin Beken (Oud)
Period: Renaissance 
Written: circa 1500 
Length: 1 Minutes 59 Secs. 
16. Saltarello by Anonymous
Performer:  August Denhard (Lute), Munir Nurettin Beken (Oud)
Period: Medieval 
Length: 1 Minutes 26 Secs. 
17. Buselik Saz Semaisi by Mutlu Torun
Performer:  August Denhard (Lute), Munir Nurettin Beken (Oud)
Written: 1972 
Length: 6 Minutes 13 Secs. 
18. Work(s): Aspire refus contre doulce priere by Jacopo da Bologna
Performer:  August Denhard (Lute), Munir Nurettin Beken (Oud)
Period: Medieval 
Written: 13th Century 
Length: 4 Minutes 17 Secs. 

Sound Samples

Greensleeves [16th Century]
Piva
Estampie Fragment [Robertsbridge Codex, c.1360]
Recercada No. 1
Nota I [British Lib. Harley 978]
Estampie [Robertsbridge Codex]
Estampie IV [Chansonnier du Roi, 13th Century]
Lamento da Tristano, Rotta [British Lib. 29987, c.1400]
La Spagna (arr. for oud and lute)
Aspire refus contre doulce priere
Nota II - Nota III [British Lib. Harley 978]
La Manfredina Estampie [British Lib. 29987]
Douce dame jolie
Belle Fiore Dansa [Faenza Codex]
Codex Faenza: Untitled: Untitled [Faenza Codex]
Un fiore gentile m'apparse
Calata ala spagnola (version for chamber ensemble): Calata ala spagnola
Saltarello [British Lib. 29987]
Buselik Saz Semai

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