Lviv Lute

The Lviv Lute

3.0 2
by Oleg Timofeyev

This release is something of a revelation: taking materials known for the most part only to scholars, lutenist Oleg Timofeyev and the Ukrainian ensemble Sarmatica have created a convincing realization of a musical document, the Lviv Lute Tablature, that has so far been known mostly to scholars. The Ukrainian city of Lviv has had many names…  See more details below


This release is something of a revelation: taking materials known for the most part only to scholars, lutenist Oleg Timofeyev and the Ukrainian ensemble Sarmatica have created a convincing realization of a musical document, the Lviv Lute Tablature, that has so far been known mostly to scholars. The Ukrainian city of Lviv has had many names and borne many nationalities over its nearly millennium-long existence, and the relevant tradition here is not Ukrainian but Polish: the manuscript, compiled between the 1550s and the early 18th century, reflected the high-water mark of Polish influence in the form of the vast Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. This collection of lute music was international in scope, containing music from composers as geographically distant as England's John Dowland. The variety of lute pieces would be enough to justify purchase in itself, but that's just the beginning. Timofeyev and Sarmatica (the name refers to a sort of Polish national aesthetic ideology) create both a program and a sound that vividly illustrate the cross-currents present in this repertory, offering both solo lute pieces and ensemble arrangements featuring the lute. The biggest difference from English or German ensemble music is that, according to these performers, the Eastern European context admitted folk influences in a way Western music did not. In the instrumental realm this involved single-reed winds that had a rougher, louder tone than their Western counterparts, and some of the dances here sound something like klezmer music. A performance like that of Arcadelt's "Quando io pensal martire ad te Salutor noster" (track 8) is even more startling, with what the booklet notes justifiably call "belting voice." The result is an album of music with lute that both remains specific to a place and presents a whole innovative model for performing Renaissance repertory. Like so much of Polish culture, this album deserves more attention than it will probably get. Sono Luminus, on top of all this, has done a superb job recording the lute.

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Product Details

Release Date:
Sono Luminus


  1. Suzanna Galliard, for lute, P 91  - John Dowland  - Oleg Timofeyev  - Brandon Bloodworth  -  Sarmatica  - Jan Matejko
  2. Passamezzo  -  Anonymous  - Oleg Timofeyev  -  Anonymous, Polish  - Brandon Bloodworth  -  Sarmatica  - Jan Matejko
  3. Doulce mémoire (from "Le Parangon")  - Pierre Sandrin  - Oleg Timofeyev  - Brandon Bloodworth  -  Sarmatica  - Jan Matejko
  4. Gagliarda la Rocha el Fuso  -  Anonymous, Italian  - Oleg Timofeyev  - Brandon Bloodworth  -  Sarmatica  - Jan Matejko
  5. Quand' io pens' al martire, madrigal for 4 voices, S. 2/44  - Jacques Arcadelt  - Oleg Timofeyev  - Brandon Bloodworth  -  Sarmatica  - Jan Matejko
  6. Passamezzo Pavan  - John Johnson  - Oleg Timofeyev  - Brandon Bloodworth  -  Sarmatica  - Jan Matejko
  7. Fantasia, for lute in G minor, P 7  - John Dowland  - Oleg Timofeyev  - Brandon Bloodworth  -  Sarmatica  - Jan Matejko
  8. Pavana alla ferrarese, for lute  - Joan Ambrosio Dalza  - Oleg Timofeyev  - Brandon Bloodworth  -  Sarmatica  - Jan Matejko
  9. Ich reu und klag  - Georg Brack  - Oleg Timofeyev  - Brandon Bloodworth  -  Sarmatica  - Jan Matejko

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The Lviv Lute 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
KlingonOpera More than 1 year ago
This disc features pieces from the Lviv Lute Tablature, a manuscript dating from 1553 to the early 17th century, and is a comprehensive collection of Polish Renaissance lute music. The recording features several different instruments, including fiddle, tar, setar, tombak, violin, cello, chalumeau, and the human voice. Mr. Timofeyev, a Fullbright scholar and lutenist, founded Sarmatica (an early music ensemble), and this group of early music specialists works extremely hard together to bring this music to light. The ¿Quando lo Pensal Martire Ad Te Saluator Noster¿ is a fascinating combination of both vocals and several of the intstruments, and is both evocative and captivating. When listening to ¿Fantasia Bellisima¿, you can almost see the beginnings of some of the better known classical guitar repertoire. And in ¿Susanna Galliard¿ the evolution of Bach-like trumpet work is evident. There are a number of moments in this recording where this listener felt that he was hearing living history ¿ and this speaks to the caliber of the performance of the musicians. If you like early music, and enjoy exploring things from the eras before our more ¿modern¿ masters, this disc is a fine one to add to your collection. If you are particularly fussy about abso¿lute¿ perfection, then this may be one to pass by. But if this kind of thing is your forte, you will very much enjoy this disc.
OscarOVeterano1 More than 1 year ago
Sarmatica - "the Lviv Lute" - Oleg Timofeyev - Sono Luminus The group Sarmatica seems to be a loose confederation of musicians with specialties ranging from baroque violin to little known Slavic vocal traditions. For this project, they're joined by lute virtuoso, Oleg Timofeyev. Collectively, they have chosen to very creatively re-interpret the Lviv Lute Tablature, one of only four such lute sources still extant in the area of the former Soviet Union and containing some of the most important examples of Polish Renaissance instrumental music. The results are decidedly mixed. The Lviv manuscript contains the only known copy of "Fantasia bellisma" by Giovanni Pacoloni, a lute solo beautifully performed by Mr. Timofeyev. This and four other pieces are, mercifully, left intact. Sarmatica has subjected the rest of the Lviv manuscript to a mixture of (quoting from the liner notes) "creative adaptation" and "invasive techniques", with one Orlando di Lasso composition dropped altogether in favor of two other-sourced pieces chosen because they were "organically connected". Apparently, someone needs to remind these folks that even the most liberal application of artistic license and imaginative leeway does not allow one to ignore the actual text at hand. With occasional moments of stunning beauty (i.e. Mr. Timofeyev's solo work), "the Lviv Lute" by Sarmatica will appeal most to those who would like to imagine themselves at a Polish Renaissance court, among nobility who are portraying themselves as descendants of an ancient tribe who may or may not have once defeated Alexander the Great. All other fans of early music may want to wait until someone records the Lviv Lute Tablature as written. 5 out of 10 Oscar O. Veterano