Notes and Editorial Reviews
The plectrum lute duo was one of the most popular ensembles for professional instrumentalists in late 15th-century Western Europe. This recording presents for the first time the bulk of a surviving repertoire that can arguably be considered for the lute duo, performed on two equal plectrum lutes or with a combination of lute and gittern- a smaller member of the lute family. The album, inspired by the Ferrarese virtuoso Pietrobono dal Chitarino (c. 1417-1497), acclaimed in his lifetime as ‘the foremost lutenist in the world,’ includes the earliest printed lute duos by Francesco Spinacino and Joan Ambrosio Dalza and the two-voice instrumental works by Johannes Tinctoris. The often highly ornamented instrumental duos are mostly reworkings of songs, some of which are given here in a performance with the singer Grace Newcombe to provide the context for the lute arrangements that follow.
Marc Lewon and Paul Kieffer make a marvellous duo, with a lot of passages of truly mind-blowing skill and speed. They have assembled the repertory in glorious performances.
Here we have a lovely collection of the earliest surviving repertoire for lute duo, some of it also for voice. This is a very enjoyable programme and an opportunity to hear fine performances of music few are likely to be familiar with.
– Lark Reviews