Travels with my Lute Luis MILAN (c.1500–after
Fantasia; Pavana Alonso MUDARRA (c.1508–1580)
Fantasia Luys DE NARVAEZ (c.1500–after 1550)
Mille regrez; Un baxa de contrapuncto Antonio DE CABEZON (1510–1566)
Differencias Francesco SPINACINO (?–after 1507)
Recercare Francesco DE MILANO (1497–1543)
2 Ricercari Simone MOLINARO (c. 1567–c. 1615)
Fantasia XV; Fantasi I John DOWLAND (1562–1626)
if a day; The Right Honorable Earl of Essex his Galliard;
Fantasia William BRADE (1570–1630) Des Rotschencken Tantz Johannes Hieronymus
KAPSBERGER (c. 1575–c. 1661)
Toccata VI; Gagliarda III Johann Sebastian
Preludium; Gavotte en Rondeau Silvius Leopold WEISS (1686–1750) Passacaille Carl Friedrich ABEL (1723–1787)
Arpeggio Norbert BURGMULLER (1810–1836)
La Chevaleresque Claude DEBUSSY (1862–1918)
La fille au Cheveux de lin Arr. Sven BERGER (b.1938)
Sa Som stjarnan; Springlat fran Lima Gaspar SANZ (1640–1710)
/ Santiago DE MURZIA (late
Ryosuke Sakamoto (Renaissance
rec. 10–13 August 2005, Dala-Jarna Church, Dalarna MUSICA
REDIVIVA MRCD013 [62.57]
Sakamote is a young Japanese lute virtuoso who seems to have
been something of a child prodigy; he does not graduate from
Tokyo University until 2007. He comes from a musical background
and from 1994 (when not yet eleven) he played in the Sakamoto
Family Consort. In addition to tuition from his father, Ban
Sakamoto, he has studied with Hopkinson Smith, Jakob Lindberg
and Paul Odette. Sakamoto is more than simply a lute player
and has also studied the viol, including playing in master-classes
with Wieland Kuijken.
disc is something of a showpiece for Sakamoto's talents.
Under the guise of a travelogue, he includes a selection
of pieces from Spain, Italy, England and Germany. He plays
a Renaissance lute, but his repertoire is not restricted
to the renaissance but moves through the baroque, 18th and
19th centuries. He concludes with arrangements
of a piano piece by Norbert Burgmuller, La Fille au Cheveux
du lin by Debussy and some Swedish Folksong arrangements
by Sven Berger. The Debussy arrangement, done by Sakamoto
himself, is impressive in the way he has captured much of
the piece's atmosphere, but you can't help thinking: why
bother transcribing a Debussy piano prelude for a Renaissance
Swedish folksongs indicate an interesting cross-country link
up in the disc. Sakamoto spent some of his early years in
Sweden when his father worked there. These links seem to
have continued; the CD booklet is introduced by one of his
father's Swedish colleagues, Sven Berger, who also arranged
the folksongs. The disc was also recorded in Sweden.
selection of pieces encompasses works by major figures from
the lute repertoire such as Dowland, Kapsberger, Weiss and
Bach. This is an attractive recital and Sakamoto is a talented
player. He brings a fine dexterity and warm tone to the pieces.
In the livelier ones he has an appealing rhythmic felicity.
I missed was a sense of fantasy and characterisation. This
is particularly shown up by the style of this recital, with
the works grouped by country. I would have liked more differentiation
in style and flavour between the pieces, more of a reflection
of the country of origin.
is not to say that his playing is not charming, just listen
to Dowland's The Right Honorable Robert, Earl of Essex,
his Galliard with its variations on Can she excuse
my wrongs. But I wanted greater dramatic variation and
a sense of fantasy. Perhaps this is also a function of the
shortness of the pieces, some 25 pieces on a disc lasting
63 minutes. It takes great experience and depth to bring
this off, something that comes with age.
CD is very focused on Sakamoto himself. He was written the
programme notes and the booklet is illustrated with pictures
of him, including one as a baby and another as a young boy
playing a small viol.
a debut disc this is most impressive. It shows that he has
a strong technique and much promise. I look forward to hearing
more from Sakamoto when he matures and develops.
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