A celebration of Italian Renaissance lute music, this release showcases a variety of composers, from the well known (such as
Palestrina and Da Milano) to some now faded into obscurity, and introduces the listener to all forms of lute music that were
in vogue during that period: ricercares, dances, madrigals and villanellas. The innovation to be found in this music is
extraordinary: instrumental music from this period was designed to imitate the human voice, evident in many of the pieces
included here, with intricate polyphony echoing the vocal madrigals, and eversophisticated ways of writing in turn led to
new forms (the ricercar and canzona), creating a new type of instrumental language. The line between vocal and
instrumental music thus became far more blurred in this period: it was even common for vocal works, such as madrigals, to be
played rather than sung. The lute consort, the focus of this release, was one of the highest courtly expressions of ensemble
music, best revealing the potential of the instrument and offering a voiced reconstruction of one of the most exclusive
ambiences of ancient palaces. The Quartetto di Liuti da Milano have delved into a variety of sources to extract these musical gems. Extensive research is the foundation of their interpretations, and they are also proud to perform on instruments modelled carefully after their Renaissance equivalents. Concentrating exclusively on Italian Renaissance and early Baroque music, the quartet was established in 2012, and the musicians have already been praised in Amadeus magazine for their “liveliness” and “quality of expression”.
A beautiful selection of Ricercares, Fantasias, Gagliardes and Madrigals from Renaissance Italy, played by a lute consort of 4 lutes. In Italian renaissance vocal and instrumental music were not strongly devided: the popular vocal madrigals of the day were often played by instrumental ensembles, in rich polyphonic writing of high complexity. Presented are works by well‐known composers (Palestrina, Da Milano) and some by more obscure composers, a lively alteration of bright and festive dances and melancholic, bitter sweet songs on subjects of Love, Life and Death. • Beautifully played by the Quartetto di Liuti da Milano, a joy to listen to! An extensive booklet text in English and Italian, on the historical background of the music, the instruments used and biographies of the artists.
Sources for all the pieces.
The quartet is supported by the Fondazione Marco Fodella.