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Early Music

Classical Editor: Rob Barnett                               Founder Len Mullenger

Late Gothic and Renaissance Masterworks.
Luys Venegas de HENESTROSA Libra de Cifra nuevra, para teclas, harpa y vihuela (1557)
ANONYMOUS Himno II, Sacris solemniis
Francisco de SOTO (c. 1500-1563) Tiento XXIII
ANONYMOUS Fantasia sobre FA, MI, UT, RE
ANONYMOUS Himno V, Pange lingua
Johannes URREDA (c. 1500) Himno VII, Pange lingua
ANONYMOUS Himno XX, O gloriosa Domina
Luys ALBERTO (1st half 16th century) Tres IV glosado de Luys Alberto
Gracia BAPTISTA (1st half 16th century) Himno XXII, Conditor alme
Jean MOUTON (c. 1459-1522) glosado de Palero: Motet III, Quaeramus
Jachet de MANTUA (c. 1550) Motete I Aspice Domine
ANONYMOUS Fabordones llanos 1,2,4,5,6
ANONYMOUS Fabordones glosados 4,5,6,9,7
ANONYMOUS Fabordones llanos 8,9,10, glosado 1
Antonio de CABEZON (1510-1566) Himno I, Pange lingua
From the tablatures of the Basle Humanist Bonifacius Amerbach (1495-1562)

Heinrich YZAAK (c.1450-1517) In pace in id ipsum
Joannes KOTTER (c. 1485-1541) Harmonia in sol
Paul HOFHAIMER (1459-1537) Min einigs A
Heinrich YZAAK (c. 1450-1517) Si dormiero
Joannes KOTTER (c. 1485-1541) Fantasi in ut
Alexander AGRICOLA (1446-1506) Tota pulchra es
Joannes KOTTER (c. 1485-1541) Proemium in re
Joannes KOTTER (c. 1485-1541) Salve Regina
Joannes KOTTER (c. 1485-1541) Ad te clamamus
Joannes KOTTER (c. 1485-1541) Praeludium in la
Joannes KOTTER (c. 1485-1541) Anaboleh in fa
Joannes KOTTER (c. 1485-1541) Praeludium in fa
Joannes WECK (c. 1495-1536) Tancz der schwarcz knab
Paul HOFHAIMER (1459-1537) Zucht eer und lob
Maister Hans von CONSTANZ (1483-1538) Dantz Moss. Benczenauer
ATTEIGNANT (1529) Jay top ayme
ATTEIGNANT (1529) Amy souffre que je bous ame
ATTEIGNANT (1529) Je my plains fort
Joannes KOTTER (c. 1485-1541) En est iltx ung qui aym
Paul HOFHAIMER (1459-1537) Nach willen din
Joannes KOTTER (c. 1485-1541) Uss tieffer noot schry ich zu dir
Hans WECK (c. 1495-1536) Spanyoeler tancz
Joannes KOTTER (c.1485-1541) O herre got begnade mich
Joannes BUCHNER (1483-1538) Ach hulk mich leid.
Doulce Memoire Chansons, Madrigals, Songs, Motets and Preludes fomr the Tablature of Matthäaus Waissel (1540-1602)

Pierre PHALESA (1571) Preambulum I
Pierre PHALESA (1571) Preambulum II
Ludwig SENFL (1486-1543) Was wirt es doc
ANONYMOUS Zarth freundtlichs M.
Orlando di LASSO (1532-1594) Susanne ung jour
Claudin de SERMISY (c. 1490-1562) Cest a gran tort
Claudin de SERMISY (c. 1490-1562) Languire me fais
Claudin de SERMISY (c. 1490-1562) Le content est riche
Philippe VERDELOT (c. 1470-1552) Ave Jesu Christe
Clemens non PAPA (c. 1510-c. 1555) Je pres engre
Rogie PATHIE (c. 1510-1565) Si pourti quardo
Pierre SANDRIN (c. 1490-1561) Doulce Memoire
Orlando di LASSO (1532-1594) Veni in hortum meum
Benedikt de DRUSINA (c. 1520-1573) Quanto e Madonna mia
Rogier PATHIE (c. 1510-1565) D’amour me plains
Jacques ARCADELT (c. 1505-1568) Quand’io pens’al martire
Christian HOLLANDER (c. 1510-1569) Dum transisset Sabbathum I
Christian HOLLANDER (c. 1510-1569) Dum transisset Sabbathum II
Orazio VECCHI (1550-1605) Neapolitana
Orazio VECCHI (1550-1605) Neapolitana
René Clemencic (clavichord)
Rec. January 2002, W*A*R Tonstudio, Vienna
ARTE NOVA 74321 99053 2 [3CDs: 58.50+62.28+60.05]


Crotchet   AmazonUK   AmazonUS around £13

The clavichord seems to have rather been passed by in the great wave of enthusiasm for original instruments. By its very nature it is not a good concert hall instrument. Quiet and subtle, the instrument responds well to being recorded. It is a curious instrument: the strings are struck by hammers (called tangents) but unlike a piano the tangent stays in contact with the string and so its position defines the pitch of the note sounded. The advantage is that the player’s finger remains in touch with the string so that effects such as vibrato can be added. It was a popular instrument during the renaissance as, until the invention of the forte piano, it was the only keyboard instrument capable of such subtle gradations of volume and expression. Its quiet sound meant that it was a popular and ideal chamber instrument.

This set of three discs (volume 2 of a series that René Clemencic would seem to be doing) consists of playing three books of renaissance music. The first disc is devoted to a collection of Spanish music published in 1557 by Luys Venegas de Henestrosa. Luys Venegas de Henestrosa’s collection used a new tablature notation (probably invented by him) and the music is described as being for keyboard, harp or vihuela. The pieces are fantasias, tientos, hymn settings, fabordones and arrangements of vocal music. Tientos and fantasias are the same as the Spanish solo ricercare. The fabordones present a simple, chordal piece based on Psalm intonations which the player would then embellish. For many of the pieces in the collection, Luys Venegas de Henestrosa has not preserved the original composer’s name.

The second disc is a collection of music produced by the Swiss humanist Bonifacius Amerbach (1495-1562). The collection is representative of the literature for keyboard instruments in the earlier 16th century. There are independent solo pieces (fantasies, preludes, dance movements), versions of pieces written for solo voices, polyphonic hymns and Protestant choir melodies. Amerbach studied with the German organists Joannes Kotter and Joannes Weck and much of the music in this collection comes from these two composers.

The third disc is devoted to lute music collected by the German lutenist Mätthaus Waissel in 1573. He learned to play the lute with leading virtuosos in Germany and Italy. Unfortunately it is not possible to say for certain whether he was responsible for any of the fine arrangements in the collection. The pieces sample most of the major musical genres of the 16th century.

Essentially this is a collection of music to be played at home where the player could sample music which they might have experienced (or would have liked to experience) in its original form elsewhere. As such, these types of collections are an important window onto the music of the period.

Clemencic plays an original late 17th century one, restored of course. Once you have accustomed your ears to the sound of the lever mechanism of the instrument, it makes a fascinating sound. But I am not sure that it is something that I wanted to listen to for a whole disc (never mind three of them). I did wonder whether the collections would have been better presented on a variety of instrument types. This is particularly true of the livelier numbers as these rather seem to lack élan, it is in the slower pieces that the clavichord’s sound comes into its own.

For those interested in music of this period, this is a highly important, recommendable set. I am not sure that it is something for the casual listener; it is a collection best dipped into rather than swallowed whole. On repeated listening, both the music and the instrument offer up their secrets.

Robert Hugill

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