First 50…

Thanks to those who have registered for updates. Instead of sending a mailing out every time I record a piece, I’ll announce every fiftieth. Judging by my previous Scottish lute CDs, that’s about a double album’s worth. I’m not sure how many sound files there will be at the end of the road, but there are 252 in Balcarres alone…

Much of my previous performing and CD recording from Balcarres came from the D Major tuning section near the end of the manuscript, so much of what I have recorded so far is new to me, and I have to say I am impressed with the breadth of repertoire found in the first fifty. Yes, those beautiful pentatonic and hexatonic melodies are there, but also a deep French influence. Through the help of the internet, we even found one piece (no.34, Belle Heureus) is an arrangement of a song from a ballet by Lully. Some of the pieces seem to be by Scots in imitation of the French style. Looking ahead, of course, there are some bonny works by known Parisian lute players. Stay tuned. 

The reason for doing this marathon is to find out what exactly is there. Looking at international lute recitals, youtube videos, etc, the same pieces keep cropping up. It is my hope that lute players will broaden their appreciation of the variety of music in these manuscripts, and hopefully start performing some of the many neglected pieces. 

But I also hope that players of instruments other than the lute, such as harp, clarsach, pipes and fiddle (to name the more obvious) will take an interest. After all, many of these settings are arrangements of the early repertoires of these instruments.

Well, onwards and onwards…

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