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Vincent Dumestre - Love is strange. Works for Lute Consort

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Love is strange. Works for Lute Consort

Pierre Hantaï - Poème Harmonique - Vincent Dumestre

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Unlike most of the music in the fabulous "ut pictura musica" series from France's Alpha label, that presented here is something of a speculative reconstruction. As one section of the complex booklet (in French and English) explains, English ensemble instrumental music of the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries might be played by either a "whole" (homogeneous) or "broken" (diverse) consort. "It is [the] tradition of the whole consort that we wish to revive on this recording," writes director Vincent Dumestre. But it is a specific and rather unusual kind of whole consort that he is talking about: one made up entirely of plucked stringed instruments and mostly of lutes. Little music of this kind has come down to the present in notated form, but literary and iconographic evidence shows that it existed, and it is supposed to have had an improvisational component. The music, here, some of it anonymous and some of it by John Johnson, Antony Holborne, John Dowland, the pretentiously named Giovanni Coprario (he was really just John Cooper), and other contemporaries, has various sources; some of it is lute music, some keyboard music, some of it instrumental music from masques or for plays, some of it dance music, some of it abstract like the In nomine pattern, and some of it representing the earliest layers of what can be called popular tunes (Greensleeves, for example), in a few cases Scottish. It has thus been imaginatively adapted for the present medium. The notes go into the historical issues in some detail for interested listeners, but one can also just plunge into the music and be satisfied. The opening Wakefilde on a green, a set of divisions or variations by Johnson, immediately immerses the listener in a sound world like hardly anything else in Renaissance music, with a virginal (played by Pierre Hantaï, a major presence here) and a bass cittern supporting the lutes in large, sweeping, expressive waves. The music seems to violate the boundary between indoor and outdoor that prevailed in Elizabeth's time; it is dramatic and festive, yet still interior -- music, perhaps, for an important event in a large hall. The forces range from a single lutenist or keyboardist to a booming group of six players, and the program, running from dances such as Johnson's Trenchmore (the name of an Irish dance) to complex intellectual exercises like the anonymous Upon la re mi, is consistently arresting. With these riches, it seems almost a surfeit to have Alpha's usual inclusion of a discussion of a painting related to the musical repertoire at hand -- a portrait of a rather disdainful yet sad young nobleman who has slipped outside castle walls to think or to meet someone. The portrait is stylized, yet a feeling of melancholy seems to burst through it. Much the same might be said of the music on this remarkable album, which listeners from English music enthusiasts to total newcomers may well greet with a reaction somewhere between surprise and shock.
© TiVo

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Love is strange. Works for Lute Consort

Vincent Dumestre

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1
Wakefilde on a Green
Le Poème Harmonique
00:04:51

Le Poème Harmonique, Performer - Vincent Dumestre, Performer - John Johnson, Composer

Alpha Classics / Outhere Music France Alpha

2
Dorick Prelude
Vincent Dumestre
00:01:57

Vincent Dumestre, Performer - Benjamin Perrot, Performer - Benjamin Cosyn, Composer

Alpha Classics / Outhere Music France Alpha

3
Decrevi
Eric Bellocq
00:04:48

Eric Bellocq, Performer - Vincent Dumestre, Performer - Massimo Moscardo, Performer - Benjamin Perrot, Performer - Jean-Luc Tamby, Performer - Anthony Holborne, Composer

Alpha Classics / Outhere Music France Alpha

4
Callinoe
Vincent Dumestre
00:02:13

Vincent Dumestre, Performer - Jean-Luc Tamby, Performer - Benjamin Perrot, Performer - Anonymous, Composer

Alpha Classics / Outhere Music France Alpha

5
Ut re mi fa sol la
Vincent Dumestre
00:05:04

Vincent Dumestre, Performer - Eric Bellocq, Performer - Massimo Moscardo, Performer - Benjamin Perrot, Performer - Robert Parsons, Composer

Alpha Classics / Outhere Music France Alpha

6
Twenty Waies Upon the Bells
Vincent Dumestre
00:02:45

Vincent Dumestre, Performer - Eric Bellocq, Performer - Massimo Moscardo, Performer - Benjamin Perrot, Performer - Jean-Luc Tamby, Performer - Thomas Robinson, Composer

Alpha Classics / Outhere Music France Alpha

7
Irish Toy
Pierre Hantaï
00:00:56

Pierre Hantaï, Performer - John Bull, Composer

Alpha Classics / Outhere Music France Alpha

8
Sellengers Ronnde
Le Poème Harmonique
00:01:21

Le Poème Harmonique, Performer - Vincent Dumestre, Performer - John Johnson, Composer

Alpha Classics / Outhere Music France Alpha

9
Green Sleeves
Massimo Moscardo
00:02:34

Massimo Moscardo, Performer - Jean-Luc Tamby, Performer - Benjamin Perrot, Performer - Vincent Dumestre, Performer - Anonymous, Composer

Alpha Classics / Outhere Music France Alpha

10
Spero
Eric Bellocq
00:04:29

Eric Bellocq, Performer - Vincent Dumestre, Performer - Massimo Moscardo, Performer - Benjamin Perrot, Performer - Jean-Luc Tamby, Performer - Anthony Holborne, Composer

Alpha Classics / Outhere Music France Alpha

11
Dump
Vincent Dumestre
00:02:57

Vincent Dumestre, Performer - Massimo Moscardo, Performer - Eric Bellocq, Performer - Benjamin Perrot, Performer - John Johnson, Composer

Alpha Classics / Outhere Music France Alpha

12
Lachrimae
Eric Bellocq
00:02:57

Eric Bellocq, Performer - Vincent Dumestre, Performer - Massimo Moscardo, Performer - Benjamin Perrot, Performer - Jean-Luc Tamby, Performer - John Dooland, Composer

Alpha Classics / Outhere Music France Alpha

13
Passymeasure Galliard
Massimo Moscardo
00:03:43

Massimo Moscardo, Performer - Eric Bellocq, Performer - John Daniel, Composer

Alpha Classics / Outhere Music France Alpha

14
Galiarda
Pierre Hantaï
00:01:58

Pierre Hantaï, Performer - Thomas Morley, Composer

Alpha Classics / Outhere Music France Alpha

15
A Toy
Pierre Hantaï
00:01:06

Pierre Hantaï, Performer - Anonymous, Composer

Alpha Classics / Outhere Music France Alpha

16
Trenchmore
Vincent Dumestre
00:04:17

Vincent Dumestre, Performer - Jean-Luc Tamby, Performer - Benjamin Perrot, Performer - John Johnson, Composer

Alpha Classics / Outhere Music France Alpha

17
In Nomine XII "Crye"
Eric Bellocq
00:02:00

Eric Bellocq, Performer - Vincent Dumestre, Performer - Massimo Moscardo, Performer - Benjamin Perrot, Performer - Jean-Luc Tamby, Performer - Orlando Gibbons, Composer

Alpha Classics / Outhere Music France Alpha

18
Corn Yairds
Vincent Dumestre
00:01:26

Vincent Dumestre, Performer - Benjamin Perrot, Performer - Anonymous, Composer

Alpha Classics / Outhere Music France Alpha

19
A Gray's Inn, the First
Le Poème Harmonique
00:04:04

Le Poème Harmonique, Performer - Vincent Dumestre, Performer - Giovanni Coperario, Composer

Alpha Classics / Outhere Music France Alpha

20
Love Is Strange
Vincent Dumestre
00:01:10

Vincent Dumestre, Performer - Anonymous, Composer

Alpha Classics / Outhere Music France Alpha

21
Canaries
Vincent Dumestre
00:01:38

Vincent Dumestre, Performer - Jean-Luc Tamby, Performer - Benjamin Perrot, Performer - Anonymous, Composer

Alpha Classics / Outhere Music France Alpha

22
Upon la mi re
Vincent Dumestre
00:02:59

Vincent Dumestre, Performer - Benjamin Perrot, Performer - Anonymous, Composer

Alpha Classics / Outhere Music France Alpha

Album Description

Unlike most of the music in the fabulous "ut pictura musica" series from France's Alpha label, that presented here is something of a speculative reconstruction. As one section of the complex booklet (in French and English) explains, English ensemble instrumental music of the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries might be played by either a "whole" (homogeneous) or "broken" (diverse) consort. "It is [the] tradition of the whole consort that we wish to revive on this recording," writes director Vincent Dumestre. But it is a specific and rather unusual kind of whole consort that he is talking about: one made up entirely of plucked stringed instruments and mostly of lutes. Little music of this kind has come down to the present in notated form, but literary and iconographic evidence shows that it existed, and it is supposed to have had an improvisational component. The music, here, some of it anonymous and some of it by John Johnson, Antony Holborne, John Dowland, the pretentiously named Giovanni Coprario (he was really just John Cooper), and other contemporaries, has various sources; some of it is lute music, some keyboard music, some of it instrumental music from masques or for plays, some of it dance music, some of it abstract like the In nomine pattern, and some of it representing the earliest layers of what can be called popular tunes (Greensleeves, for example), in a few cases Scottish. It has thus been imaginatively adapted for the present medium. The notes go into the historical issues in some detail for interested listeners, but one can also just plunge into the music and be satisfied. The opening Wakefilde on a green, a set of divisions or variations by Johnson, immediately immerses the listener in a sound world like hardly anything else in Renaissance music, with a virginal (played by Pierre Hantaï, a major presence here) and a bass cittern supporting the lutes in large, sweeping, expressive waves. The music seems to violate the boundary between indoor and outdoor that prevailed in Elizabeth's time; it is dramatic and festive, yet still interior -- music, perhaps, for an important event in a large hall. The forces range from a single lutenist or keyboardist to a booming group of six players, and the program, running from dances such as Johnson's Trenchmore (the name of an Irish dance) to complex intellectual exercises like the anonymous Upon la re mi, is consistently arresting. With these riches, it seems almost a surfeit to have Alpha's usual inclusion of a discussion of a painting related to the musical repertoire at hand -- a portrait of a rather disdainful yet sad young nobleman who has slipped outside castle walls to think or to meet someone. The portrait is stylized, yet a feeling of melancholy seems to burst through it. Much the same might be said of the music on this remarkable album, which listeners from English music enthusiasts to total newcomers may well greet with a reaction somewhere between surprise and shock.
© TiVo

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