Andrea Falconieri: La Suave Melodia

Andrea Falconieri: La Suave Melodia

by Lorenzo Micheli


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Andrea Falconieri: La Suave Melodia

The booklet for this disc of music connected with the Italian lutenist-composer Andrea Falconieri announces an ambitious concept designed to show that "the music of Falconieri is the music of our times," even though Falconieri was active in the seventeenth century. The concept grows from Falconieri's peripatetic life story, which took him all over Europe and seemingly featured abrupt departures from prestigious posts (one chronicle notes dryly that "he fled without saying anything"). Falconieri composed music and compiled collections of intabulated music by other composers of the day. His own music, from the 16 examples included here, seems to have had a certain free-spirited quality, with a few lyrical, madrigal-like pieces interspersed among dances and ground-bass forms. From this evidence lutenist Massimo Lonardi, Baroque guitarist Matteo Mela, and theorbist Lorenzo Micheli build a romantic interpretation of Falconieri's work. It doesn't really hold up, but the attempt is nevertheless worthwhile for several reasons, the first of which is that really passionate performances of Renaissance and early Baroque music are generally preferable to the mechanical ones that dominated the scene for so long. The players perform Falconieri's tablatures with two or sometimes three instruments, creating a big sound and emphasizing the passionate qualities of pieces like "Occhietti amati" (track 18) and the rollicking rhythms of the popular dances like the "Canario" (track 7). Furthermore, the approach taken here helps bring the music into focus. The booklet is informative, suggesting actual occasions for which Falconieri's music might have been created; it becomes easier to imagine the lutenist and his music in context. Lutenists were instrumental stars of their day, and Falconieri was not the only one capable of crossing the lines of national style into which lute recordings are often organized. The sound is superb, with an intimate but not noisy ambiance. Though its conclusions may be a bit overstated, if nothing is ventured, nothing is gained: this is an attractive and forward-looking recording of lute music.

Product Details

Release Date: 07/08/2008
Label: Stradivarius
UPC: 8011570337818
catalogNumber: 33781
Rank: 254204


  1. Gallarda
  2. Riñen y pelean entre Berzebillo con Satansillo, y Caruf
  3. La suave melodia y su corrente
  4. Il Spiritillo Brando
  5. Sarabanda (from Libro Quatro d'Intavolatura di Chitarone)
  6. Canario, for guitar & theorbo
  7. Spagnoletto
  8. Ruggero
  9. La Benedetta, for guitar, theorbo & lute
  10. Sinfonia seconda
  11. Il primo libro della canzoni ... No.25, Canzon Seconda, a 3, due bassi, e canto, for instruments
  12. Sinfonia à 2, for guitar & virginal
  13. Corriente dicha la cuella
  14. Brando d'Abril
  15. In partitura, il primo libro della canzoni ... No.8, basso solo, "detta l'Ambitsiosa", for instruments
  16. Brando dicho El Melo
  17. Occhietti amati
  18. Alemana dicha la Villega, for guitar, theorbo & lute
  19. Sonata seconda arpeggiata, for guitar & theorbo
  20. Kapsberger for chitarrone
  21. La Monarca
  22. Gallarda d'arroyo
  23. Toccata No. 1 (from Intavolatura di Liuto)
  24. Corrente 1, for lute (from Intavolatura di Liuto)
  25. Bertoncina, sua Corrente
  26. Corrente detta l'avellina
  27. E viver e morir (from Libro primo di Villanelle)

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