A Lute by Sixtus Rauwolf
After delighting us with the music of Jacobean and Italian Renaissance masters of the lute in his previous two recordings, London-based Swedish lutenist Jakob Lindberg turns his attention to works by French and German Baroque composers with equally felicitous results.
Lindberg’s Sixtus Rauwolf lute was built in Augsburg around 1590 as a seven- or eight-course instrument. In 1715 it was altered and became the 11-course instrument it is today. As Tim Crawford writes in his superb booklet note, Lindberg has chosen works ‘that could plausibly have formed part of the repertory of an owner of the instrument at around the time of its final conversion’. Crawford also explores the similarities between instrument restoration and early music performance, and the relationships between the German composers Esaias Reusner, David Kellner, ‘Mr Pachelbel’ and Weiss, and the French composers of an earlier generation from which they drew inspiration, such as François Dufault and Charles Mouton. The Baroque dance suite, with its variations on the classic Allemande-Courante-Sarabande-Gigue pattern, dominates. There are, however, clear differences between the French and German styles; furthermore, within those, the distinctive voice of each composer is evident.
These are voices Lindberg hears clearly and translates with great sympathy and imagination. He is stately and expressive in Reusner’s Padoana while seizing upon the extravagant trills and strums evoked by the Dufault and the elegant deportment of the Mouton. Lindberg similarly relishes the toccata-like textures, bittersweet harmonies and melodic attractiveness of Kellner, ‘Mr Pachelbel’ and Weiss, though it is in the latter’s Sarabande and Ciacona that Lindberg’s mastery of this repertoire is at its most convincing – and moving.