La Mascarade: Music for Solo Baroque Guitar & Theorbo | ECM New Series 4811716

La Mascarade: Music for Solo Baroque Guitar & Theorbo


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Label: ECM New Series

Cat No: 4811716

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 1

Genre: Instrumental

Release Date: 20th May 2016



In this wonderful solo album, Norwegian early music performer Rolf Lislevand turns his attention to the music of two composers from the court of Louis XIV: Robert de Visée (c.1655-1732) and the Italian-born Francesco Corbetta (c.1615-1681), and plays their masterpieces with historical awareness and an inventiveness which belongs to the tradition.

De Visée wrote about playing what the instruments themselves called for, advice Lislevand takes to heart, adding improvised introductions to passacaglias from both composers. He uses two contrasting instruments here, the small Baroque guitar with its sparkling, crystal-clear sonorities and the theorbo, the dark-toned and earthy king of the lutes.

In his fascinating liner notes, Lislevand reminds us that 17th-century instrumental performance was often an intimate affair, with lutenists frequently playing to a dozen privileged listeners. The physical presence of the instruments and that sense of intimacy are recaptured by Manfred Eicher’s production of La Mascarade, made at Lugano’s Auditorio Stelio Molo.


The contrasts of shimmering light and dusky shadows on the cover photo of this CD offer a foretaste of the soundscape within: a haunting, introspective journey through the extremes of the musical spectrum. Norwegain virtuoso Rolf Lislevand offers the sunlit idiom of the 17th-century Italian Francesco Corbetta with the brooding sonorities of his younger French contemporary Robert de Visée. ... The whole is a beautifully planned and executed sequence.  Kate Bolton-Porciatti (Instrumental Choice)
BBC Music Magazine November 2016

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