Rolf Lislevand: Baroque guitar, theorbo
In this wonderful solo album, Norwegian early music performer Rolf Lislevand turns his attention to the music of two composers from the court of Louis XIV: Robert de Visée (c. 1655-1732) and the Italian-born Francesco Corbetta (c. 1615-1681), and plays their masterpieces with historical awareness and an inventiveness which belongs to the tradition. De Visée wrote about playing what the instruments themselves called for, advice Lislevand takes to heart, adding improvised introductions to passacaglias from both composers. He uses two contrasting instruments here, the small Baroque guitar with its sparkling, crystal-clear sonorities and the theorbo, the dark-toned and earthy king of the lutes. In his fascinating liner notes, Lislevand reminds us that 17th century instrumental performance was often an intimate affair, with lutenists frequently playing to a dozen privileged listeners. The physical presence of the instruments and that sense of intimacy are recaptured by Manfred Eicher’s production of La Mascarade, made at Lugano’s Auditorio Stelio Molo.
ECM New Series 2288
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