Gerard Tango (email: email@example.com)
Despite overmany paens for certain other lute recordings, buy this 3 CD set, and experience the difference which @ 30 years of accompanist and solo playing makes to a genre where gentleness and subtleties as well as dynamics are equally important.
Terrell Stone's "Sei Parthia di Varsavie" (6 Lute Partitas by SL Weiss from the Warsaw mss.) on the German specialist MONDO MUSICA label are a long awaited gift to both serious and newer listeners to baroque lute music.
Terrell Stone is a professor of lute at Universita degli Studi di Padova (Padua), Italy -where much Italian Renaissance and Baroque lute work had its beginnings- , is an editor of Weiss' mss., and a long time lute/theorbo performer for a variety of baroque music on labels such as 'Stradivarius', 'Mondo Musica' and 'Dynamic'. But despite his professor's credentials, his mature and quiescent approach to Weiss' music is by no means dry or academic.
In contrast to the at-times somewhat hyperkinetic playing of younger lutenists such as Barto and Cardin, and the characteristically slower tempo's of Stone's teacher Hopkinson Smith, Terrell Stone 'hits the right notes' in re: tempo, reflective but energetic articulation, as well as choice of instruments, strings, and tunings. Great care in preparation, and flawless execution characterize this recording, which is absolutely quiet as far as background and player noises are concerned; compare the croaking frogs and weather sounds on some 'ASTREE' lute recordings. (As is typical for the period, listeners will hear all pieces sounding a step lower than listed, due to tuning employed both for ease and authenticity of execution).
These discs do not tire with repeated hearings, which do not require complex and constant volume or equalization adjustments. General and music libraries, radio stations, and private collectors, take note: these discs belong on your acquisitions and play list (nb, the 'courante' from the D minor Parthia #1).
There is definitely a Weiss-resurgence now, with at least 2 ongoing series of Weiss sonatas on Naxos and SNE, with the superb Weiss "Tombeau" issue by Eduardo Eguez on the emerging Elucevanlestelle (Pesaro, Italy) label, and the equally satisfying premiere of 6 of Weiss' concerted works by Richard Stone/Tempesta di Mare on Chandos. We hope that Terrell Stone will soon release further Weiss and other Weiss-contemporary baroque lute works, to continue the better parts of this resurgence.
I received with this Weiss disc another, of 16th c Paduan-Venetian 'lute music for the anatomical dissection theatre' of the University of Padua, also a solo work by Terrell Stone entitled 'De Auditu'. This is wonderfully recorded in 24bit/96k technologies, using 6 and 7 gut string lutes (a' = 460 Hz), which though capturing an earlier idiom and style (composers Rotta/1546, Barbetta/1585, and an Heroldius mss/1602), will also prove enjoyable to fans of Renaissance and early Baroque string music. This beautifully illustrated and annotated CD does not seem to be an as-yet commercial release in Amerca, but perhaps can be obtained from its produce, Media Med, Velut Luna via Boccaccio, 31, Casalsengo (Padova), Italy.