One of the most grown-up review sites around

54,416 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here



International mailing

Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             


Some items
to consider

new MWI
Current reviews

old MWI
pre-2023 reviews

paid for

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews

Troubadisc Weinberg- TROCD01450

All Troubadisc reviews

FOGHORN Classics

Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews

All HDTT reviews

Songs to Harp from
the Old and New World

all Nimbus reviews

all tudor reviews

Follow us on Twitter

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Contributing Editor
Ralph Moore
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger

Buy through MusicWeb
for £11.50 postage paid World-wide.

Musicweb Purchase button


Diego ORTIZ (c.1510-c.1570)
Recercata Prima Sopra Un Tenore [2:02]; Recercata Seconda Sopra Un Tenore [1:23]; Recercata Terza Sopra Un Tenore [1:33]; Recercata Quarta Sopra Un Tenore [1:42]; Recercata Quinta Sopra Un Tenore [1:58]; Recercata Sesta Sopra Un Tenore [1:32]; Recercata Settima Sopra Un Tenore [1:35]; Recercata Ottava Sopra Un Tenore [2:39]; Quinta Pars Sopra Un Tenore [2:34]; O Felici Occhi Miei Di J. Arcadelt [1:45]
Jacques ARCADELT (1507-1568)
Recercata Prima Sopra O Felici Occhi Miei [1:39]; Recercata Seconda Sopra O Felici Occhi Miei [1:38]; Recercata Terza Sopra O Felici Occhi Miei [1:45]; Recercata Quarta Sopra O Felici Occhi Miei [1:41]; Doulce Memoire Di Sandrin [2:48]
Pierre SANDRIN (1490-1561)
Recercata Prima Sopra Doulce Memoire [2:25]; Recercata Seconda Sopra Doulce Memoire [2:37]; Recercata Prima Sopra Doulce Memoire [2:27]; Recercata Prima Sopra Doulce Memoire [2:12]; Recercata Prima [1:33]; Recercata Seconda [1:23]; Recercata Terza [1:20]; Recercata Quarta [1:11]; Recercata Prima Sopra Canto Piano [1:33]; Recercata Seconda Sopra Canto Piano [1:38]; Recercata Terza Sopra Canto Piano [1:56]; Recercata Quarta Sopra Canto Piano [1:49]; Recercata Quinta Sopra Canto Piano [1:15]; Recercata Sesta Sopra Canto Piano [1:16]
Silvestro GANASSI (1492-c.1550) Recerchar Primo Da Regola Rubertina [1:07]; Recerchar Secondo Da Regola Rubertina [0:44]; Recerchar Terzo Da Regola Rubertina [0:49]; Recerchar Quarto Da Regola Rubertina [1:34]; Recerchar Primo Da Lettione Seconda Cap. XV [0:59]; Recerchar Secondo Da Lettione Seconda Cap. XV [1:08]; Recerchar Primo Da Lettione Seconda Cap. XX [1:04]; Recerchar Secondo A Sola Voce Da Lettione Seconda [0:34]; Io Vorei Dio D'Amore [1:43]
Marcello Vargetto (bass); Alessandro Carmignani (alto)
Modo Antiquo (Andrea Perugi (harpsichord, organ); Daniele Poli, Gian Luca Lastraioli (lute, guitar)); Mya Fracassini (soprano); Paolo Fanciullacci (tenor); Bettina Hoffmann (viol (viola da gamba bassa e soprano)); Federico Maria Sardelli, Francesca Chiocci, Rosita Ippolito (viol (viola da gamba bassa)); Andrea Perugi (viol (viola da gamba contralto); Lisa Nocentini (viol (viola da gamba tenore e bassa)); Paolo Fanciullacci (viol , violone))
rec. June 1997, Oratorio di San Francesco Poverino, Firenze. DDD
Booklet in Italian, English, French
TACTUS TC 490701 [64.39]

Experience Classicsonline

It must be remembered that up until possibly the end of the 19th century many composers were first and foremost improvisers. They were admired world-wide as performers and only after that perhaps as composers. This was the case with Mozart and going further back into the 16th century it is even more so. But how did they improvise and what did they play? This disc gives the listener some insight. It is planned around three madrigals or songs. Arcadelt was one of the most popular and successful composers of the first half of the 16th Century. We here have four variants - the Spaniards of course called them ‘Diferencias’ - on his ’O felici occhi miei’ by Ortiz. We also hear the madrigal by Sandrin, a prolific but little performed Flemish composer of the same period. ‘Doulce memoire’ ends the CD. There’s also a song by Ganassi ‘Io varei Dio d’amore’ which, the notes tell us, is probably the only one to be accompanied solely by the gamba. There are, in addition various Recercatas (in various spellings) on harmonic patterns –nine by Ortiz ‘sopra tenores italiano’ and six on ‘sopra canti piano’ which Ortiz tells us was also known as ‘La Spagna’. All of this original material was well known at the time.
Silvestro di Ganassi dal Fontego, as the CD proclaims him, taught recorder and gamba. He published two treatises from which these pieces recorded are taken: ‘Lettione seconda’ of 1543 and ‘da Regola Rubertina’ of 1542. Diego Ortiz published a treatise of his own entitled 'Trattado di glossas' after he had left Spain for Italy (about 1553) in which he gives examples of diminutio or divisions. These sources are our aid to understanding the instrumental music of the period. The booklet essay by Bettina Hoffmann, who bears the main thrust of the performances on the viol da gamba, talks of them being “unique and invaluable”.
The instruments employed are gambas of various sizes, which are accompanied by a harpsichord or organ or sometimes a lute or chitterone. Each track is subtly varied so that the ear does not tire of one particular sound quality. The accompanying instrument is mostly reduced to the function of harmonic support. The solo instrument weaves a complex division, or ornamentation of the upper melody line just like a modern jazz artist.
Ortiz became the mastermind behind the whole concept of elaboration on madrigals in the form he called a ‘Ricercar’. The term is often said to mean ‘to search out’ and Ortiz and Ganassi do indeed delve into the melodic and harmonic implications behind the well known songs or tenor lines. The performances are quite magical and stylistically ideal. The instruments are described as “d’epoca”. The essay is interesting but there is no text in any language for the vocal items. The recording is excellent with space and clarity.

Gary Higginson


Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos reviews

Chandos recordings
All Chandos reviews

Hyperion recordings
All Hyperion reviews

Foghorn recordings
All Foghorn reviews

Troubadisc recordings
All Troubadisc reviews

all cpo reviews

Divine Art recordings
Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10
All Divine Art reviews

All APR reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews


Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount




Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews


      Composer surveys
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
Prepared by Michael Herman

The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site


Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure



Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Pat and present

Helpers invited!

How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips

Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Other links
Web News sites etc

A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools

Return to Review Index

Untitled Document

Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.