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Jean Rondeau|Melancholy Grace

Melancholy Grace

Jean rondeau

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There is a lot going on in this compelling release by harpsichordist Jean Rondeau, and within the rubric proposed by the title, Melancholy Grace, are several different strands. First, Rondeau points to two conceptions of melancholy during the Renaissance; it may refer to musical representations of tears and weeping or the use of chromaticism. Each of these is realized with a different instrument, a 16th century Italian virginal for the weeping and a modern replica of a mighty 18th century instrument for the chromaticism. Further, Rondeau emphasizes the international nature of this melancholy musical strain in pieces from Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, and England; the source of it all, as the harpsichordist points out, was Dowland's song Flow, my tears. On digital versions, Rondeau places Dowland at the end as if to suggest an excavation that has reached its goal. On top of all this is the status of keyboard music as a virtuoso genre in the late Renaissance. There are brilliant pieces here by Bull, Frescobaldi, and the melodiously named Luzzasco Luzzaschi, contrasting beautifully with the quieter works. Rondeau heightens the effect of the whole by giving each piece a tuning that fits its musical structure rather than relying on equal temperament. Cumulatively, these musical decisions -- executed with flair and elegance -- result in a Renaissance keyboard album of rare power.

© TiVo

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Melancholy Grace

Jean Rondeau

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1
Toccate e partite d'intavolatura, Libro II: Toccata settima
00:05:03

Girolamo Frescobaldi, Composer - Jean rondeau, Harpsichord, MainArtist

A Warner Classics/Erato release, © 2021 Parlophone Records Limited A Warner Classics/Erato release, ℗ 2021 Parlophone Records Limited

2
Fantaisie de Monsieur de Lorency
00:03:23

Jean rondeau, Harpsichord, MainArtist - Laurencinius di Roma, Composer

A Warner Classics/Erato release, © 2021 Parlophone Records Limited A Warner Classics/Erato release, ℗ 2021 Parlophone Records Limited

3
Passacaille del seigneur Louigi
00:02:15

Luigi Rossi, Composer - Jean rondeau, Harpsichord, MainArtist

A Warner Classics/Erato release, © 2021 Parlophone Records Limited A Warner Classics/Erato release, ℗ 2021 Parlophone Records Limited

4
Capricci da sonare cembali, et organi, Op. 4, Pt. 1: Toccata quarta per l’elevatione
00:05:53

Gregorio Strozzi, Composer - Jean rondeau, Harpsichord, MainArtist

A Warner Classics/Erato release, © 2021 Parlophone Records Limited A Warner Classics/Erato release, ℗ 2021 Parlophone Records Limited

5
Fantasia cromatica, SwWV 258
00:09:26

Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck, Composer - Jean rondeau, Harpsichord, MainArtist

A Warner Classics/Erato release, © 2021 Parlophone Records Limited A Warner Classics/Erato release, ℗ 2021 Parlophone Records Limited

6
Intavolatura di balli d’arpicordo: No. 5, Ballo alla polacha con il suo saltarello
00:02:27

Giovanni Picchi, Composer - Jean rondeau, Harpsichord, MainArtist

A Warner Classics/Erato release, © 2021 Parlophone Records Limited A Warner Classics/Erato release, ℗ 2021 Parlophone Records Limited

7
Melancholy Pavan
00:06:42

John Bull, Composer - Jean rondeau, Harpsichord, MainArtist

A Warner Classics/Erato release, © 2021 Parlophone Records Limited A Warner Classics/Erato release, ℗ 2021 Parlophone Records Limited

8
Melancholy Galliard
00:03:07

John Bull, Composer - Jean rondeau, Harpsichord, MainArtist

A Warner Classics/Erato release, © 2021 Parlophone Records Limited A Warner Classics/Erato release, ℗ 2021 Parlophone Records Limited

9
Pavana lachrymae, WV 106 (Formerly Attributed to Heinrich Scheidemann)
00:06:09

Anonymous, Composer - Jean rondeau, Harpsichord, MainArtist

A Warner Classics/Erato release, © 2021 Parlophone Records Limited A Warner Classics/Erato release, ℗ 2021 Parlophone Records Limited

10
Intavolatura di balli d’arpicordo: No. 5, Ballo alla polacha con il suo saltarello (Alternate Version I)
00:00:49

Giovanni Picchi, Composer - Jean rondeau, Harpsichord, MainArtist

A Warner Classics/Erato release, © 2021 Parlophone Records Limited A Warner Classics/Erato release, ℗ 2021 Parlophone Records Limited

11
Il transilvano, dialogo sopra il vero modo di sonar organi & istromenti da penna, Pt. 1: Toccata del quarto tuono
00:02:52

Luzzasco Luzzaschi, Composer - Jean rondeau, Harpsichord, MainArtist

A Warner Classics/Erato release, © 2021 Parlophone Records Limited A Warner Classics/Erato release, ℗ 2021 Parlophone Records Limited

12
Selva di varie compositioni d'intavolatura per cimbalo ed organo: No. 22, Recercar di legature
00:05:02

Bernardo Storace, Composer - Jean rondeau, Harpsichord, MainArtist

A Warner Classics/Erato release, © 2021 Parlophone Records Limited A Warner Classics/Erato release, ℗ 2021 Parlophone Records Limited

13
Toccate e partite d'intavolatura, Libro I: Toccata quarta
00:05:47

Girolamo Frescobaldi, Composer - Jean rondeau, Harpsichord, MainArtist

A Warner Classics/Erato release, © 2021 Parlophone Records Limited A Warner Classics/Erato release, ℗ 2021 Parlophone Records Limited

14
Toccate e partite d'intavolatura, Libro I: Toccata prima
00:06:32

Girolamo Frescobaldi, Composer - Jean rondeau, Harpsichord, MainArtist

A Warner Classics/Erato release, © 2021 Parlophone Records Limited A Warner Classics/Erato release, ℗ 2021 Parlophone Records Limited

15
Intavolatura di balli d’arpicordo: No. 5, Ballo alla polacha con il suo saltarello (Alternate Version II)
00:00:53

Giovanni Picchi, Composer - Jean rondeau, Harpsichord, MainArtist

A Warner Classics/Erato release, © 2021 Parlophone Records Limited A Warner Classics/Erato release, ℗ 2021 Parlophone Records Limited

16
Intavolatura de cimbalo, Book I: Sortemeplus, con alcuni fioretti (Sortez mes pleurs)
00:03:19

Antonio VALENTE, Composer - Jean rondeau, Harpsichord, MainArtist

A Warner Classics/Erato release, © 2021 Parlophone Records Limited A Warner Classics/Erato release, ℗ 2021 Parlophone Records Limited

17
Fitzwilliam Virginal Book: Pavana No. 292 in A Minor
00:03:30

Orlando Gibbons, Composer - Jean rondeau, Harpsichord, MainArtist

A Warner Classics/Erato release, © 2021 Parlophone Records Limited A Warner Classics/Erato release, ℗ 2021 Parlophone Records Limited

18
Lachrimae, or Seven Tears: No. 7, Lachrimae verae
00:05:24

John Dowland, Composer - Jean rondeau, Harpsichord, MainArtist

A Warner Classics/Erato release, © 2021 Parlophone Records Limited A Warner Classics/Erato release, ℗ 2021 Parlophone Records Limited

Album review

There is a lot going on in this compelling release by harpsichordist Jean Rondeau, and within the rubric proposed by the title, Melancholy Grace, are several different strands. First, Rondeau points to two conceptions of melancholy during the Renaissance; it may refer to musical representations of tears and weeping or the use of chromaticism. Each of these is realized with a different instrument, a 16th century Italian virginal for the weeping and a modern replica of a mighty 18th century instrument for the chromaticism. Further, Rondeau emphasizes the international nature of this melancholy musical strain in pieces from Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, and England; the source of it all, as the harpsichordist points out, was Dowland's song Flow, my tears. On digital versions, Rondeau places Dowland at the end as if to suggest an excavation that has reached its goal. On top of all this is the status of keyboard music as a virtuoso genre in the late Renaissance. There are brilliant pieces here by Bull, Frescobaldi, and the melodiously named Luzzasco Luzzaschi, contrasting beautifully with the quieter works. Rondeau heightens the effect of the whole by giving each piece a tuning that fits its musical structure rather than relying on equal temperament. Cumulatively, these musical decisions -- executed with flair and elegance -- result in a Renaissance keyboard album of rare power.

© TiVo

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