Italian Lute Music

Dolcissima et Amorosa
Early Italian Renaissance Lute Music
Paul O'Dette
Harmonia Mundi 907043
Harmonia Mundi "Classical Express" 395 7043


  1. Francesco da Milano: Fantasia (Castelfranco MS)
  2. Francesco da Milano: Ricercar #13
  3. Francesco da Milano: Fantasia #83
  4. Francesco da Milano: Pourqouy allez-vous seullette
  5. Francesco da Milano: Fantasia #26
  6. Pietro Paolo Borrono: Pavana chiamata la Desperata
  7. Pietro Paolo Borrono: Saltarello
  8. Pietro Paolo Borrono: Tocha tocha la Canella
  9. Marco da L'Aquila: Ricercar
  10. Marco da L'Aquila: Il est bel et bon (Passereau)
  11. Marco da L'Aquila: Ricercar Lautre jour #101
  12. Marco da L'Aquila: Nous bergiers (Janequin)
  13. Marco da L'Aquila: La Traditora #3
  14. Francesco da Milano: Fantasia #39
  15. Francesco da Milano: Fantasia #8
  16. Francesco da Milano: Fantasia dolcissima et amorosa
  17. Francesco da Milano: Fantasia #56
  18. Alberto da Ripa: Fantasia XXII
  19. Alberto da Ripa: L'Eccho (Gentian)
  20. Alberto da Ripa: Fantasia VII
  21. Marco da L'Aquila: Ricercar #16
  22. Marco da L'Aquila: La Traditora #2
  23. Marco da L'Aquila: La Battaglia (Janequin)
  24. Marco da L'Aquila: Ricercar #33
  25. Pietro Paolo Borrono: Fantasia
  26. Pietro Paolo Borrono: Pavana la Gombertina
  27. Pietro Paolo Borrono: Saltarello
  28. Pietro Paolo Borrono: Saltarello chiamato el Mazolo

Instruments: 6-course tenor Lute (Paul Thomson, 1984), 6-course alto lute (Martin Haycock, 1989)

Playing time: 67'

Recording dates: September 1990 & February 1992

[23]-[24], [27] Harmonia mundi HMX 290 8016 / 20 [CDx5] Musique de la Renaissance Music - L'Europe Musicale au XVe et XVIe siècles
[18]-[19], [23]-[25], [27] Harmonia mundi HMX 290 8172 [CD] La naissance d'un répertoire spécifiquement instrumental / The birth of a specifically instrumental repertory (1450-1659) - L'émergence de la musique instrumentale / The Rise of Instrumental Music.

This program provides a fine overview of the important Italian lute composers of the period. Except perhaps in our own day, this was certainly the height of popularity for plucked-string solo instruments.

Francesco Canova da Milano (1497-1543) was the most celebrated lutenist of the period, and one of the first composers to publish lute collections. His music is known for its grace and ethereal atmosphere. A dedicated recording:

Il Divino
Francesco da Milano: Lute Music
Paul O'Dette
Harmonia Mundi USA 907557

Some other introductory surveys:

Fantasia de mon triste
Renaissance Lute Virtuosi of Rome & Venice
Christopher Wilson
Metronome 1025
The Siena Lute Book
Jacob Heringman
Avie 0036
I Grandi Liutisti Milanesi del Cinquecento
Francesco da Milano / Borrono / Paladino
Joachim Held
Symphonia 95144
Petrucci - Adieu mes amours
Spinacino / Dalza
Paolo Cherici
Symphonia 99173

The other composers on this recording show the thriving Italian lute school of the period. Alberto da Ripa (Albert de Rippe; d.c.1551) wrote the most technically demanding of lute music, although choosing not to publish it. Two recordings:

Albert de Rippe: Tabulature de Leut
Hopkinson Smith (lute, guitar)
Astrée 7734
Albert de Rippe: Fantasies & Chansons
Peter Söderberg
Alice Musik 022

And a recording devoted to Marco da L'Aquila (c.1480-1544):

Marco dall'Aquila: Pieces for lute
Paul O'Dette
Harmonia Mundi USA 907548

A recording devoted to the famous Vincenzo Galilei (c.1530-1591), not included in the present program:

Galilei: Fronimo
Dialogo sopra l'Arte del bene intavolare et rettamente sonare la Musica
Andrea Damiani
Stradivarius 33482

The fine French & English lute surveys by the present performer:

Tabulatures de Leut
Paul O'Dette
Astrée 7776
Lord Herbert of Cherbury's Lute Book
Paul O'Dette
Harmonia Mundi USA 907068

In addition to these collections, John Dowland was the premiere English lute composer. The first volume of a series:

Dowland: Complete Lute Works, Volume 1
Paul O'Dette
Harmonia Mundi USA 907160

The natural next volume of the present survey:

Alla Venetiana
Early 16th Century Italian Lute Music
Paul O'Dette
Harmonia Mundi USA 907215

Some broadly-based collections of Renaissance lute music:

Renaissance Fantasias
Anthony Rooley
Hyperion 66089
The Renaissance Lute
Ronn McFarlane
Dorian 90186
Fortune My Foe
Renaissance music for Lute
Andreas Martin
Harmonia Mundi 911645
Varietie of Lute Lessons
The Renaissance Lute
Lutz Kirchhof
Sony Seon 60098
Musik für Laute
Konrad Ragossnig
Archiv Produktion 447 727 (4 CDs)

Finally, a recording devoted to the Spanish composer Luys de Narvaez (c.1500-1555), one of the first to publish for the vihuela (a small, lute-like instrument):

Narvaez: Los seys líbros del Delphín de Música
Hopkinson Smith
Astrée 8706

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Todd M. McComb