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Posted September 10, 2012
This disc consists of 27 pieces of early music from England composed for two lutes. The composers featured are John Johnson, John Marchant, John Danyel, John Dowland, Thomas Robinson, as well as a handful of anonymously penned works. The two lute performers are Ronn McFarlane and William Simms, and they are outstanding. The playing is articulate and crisp, the duo really works well together as a team to bring the music to life, and there is definite joy in hearing them both play. Add to that the fact that it is just really cool to hear lute duets performed this well, and the recording is a winner.
The liner notes impart a bit of a history lesson, as well as details about each of the performers. I found them very informative, and the recording quality is excellent.
This disc is irresistible, and provides a very satisfying listening experience. I will certainly seek out other recordings from Mr. MdFarlane and Mr. Simms. Highly recommended.
Posted August 24, 2012
Ronn McFarlane and William Simms - TWO LUTES – Sono Luminus
These rarely heard lute duets come from the period of the high English Renaissance , mainly from the pens of John Johnson, court lutenist for Elizabeth I, and Thomas Robinson. They are divided between duets of equal parts and those featuring melodic solo with chordal accompaniment (i.e. lead and rhythm) parts.
Ronn McFarlane and William Simms are both internationally recognized virtuoso performers of early music, so, as might be expected, the playing here is uniformly excellent. In addition to their knowledge and technical skills, these gentlemen bring an obvious sense of enjoyment to their performance that turns what could have been an academic exposition of source material into a genuine aesthetic pleasure.
Special mention should be made of the efforts of recording engineer, Daniel Shores; the recording quality is faultless, clear, clean and perfectly balanced.
Highly recommended for students of Renaissance music, these pieces should also be of interest to guitarists looking for additional early music repertoire. This is beautiful music lovingly performed and perfectly recorded, so for the general listener curious about but with little knowledge of this era, this recording is a wonderful place to start.
Highest possible recommendation -10 out of 10 - Oscar O Veterano