La Superbe

By Thomas Walker Jr.


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"IF YOU LIKE NOT HIS PLAY, HE TELLS YOU HE HAS AT LEAST THE NEW METHOD OF PARIS ... (THOUGH RAK'TOUT OF GUALTIERS OUNGHIL, OR COLLECTED FROM THE PRIVYHOUSE OF DESAUT) HE KEEPS THEM AS PRECIOUS RELIQUES ... "

SO SAYS RICHARD FLECK.NOE'S SATIRICAL PROSE OF 1658 REGARDING VISITING FRENCH LUTENISTS. EVEN ALLOWING FOR HUMOROUS AND CHAUVINISTIC LICENSE,
YOU CAN SEE THAT DURING THE PROTECTORATE SOME PEOPLE WERE PUT OFF BY THE INSTRUMENT'S COURTLY ASSOCIATIONS, AT LEAST IN FRENCH HANDS. TO BE FAIR, FRANCOIS DUFAULT CLEARLY SPENT TIME IN ENGLAND AND FOUND SUPPORTERS AND FANS AS WELL AS GRUMPY DETRACTORS.

AFTER SPENDING THE PRIOR CENTURY AS THE EUROPEAN "PRINCE OF INSTRUMENTS," THE LUTE AS SOLO INSTRUMENT HAD LOST SO MUCH GROUND, THAT IN SPITE OF ITS GOLDEN AGE IN ELIZABETHAN/JACOBEAN ENGLAND (C. 1590-1620), THOMAS MACE WROTE IN 1676 THAT " ... MY 1ST AND CHIEF DESIGN [IS] TO DISCOVER THE OCCULT MYSTERIES OF THE NOBLE LUTE, AND TO SHOW THE GREAT WORTHINESS OF THAT TOO MUCH NEGLECTED AND ABUSED INSTRUMENT."

AND YET, THE LUTE'S LONG-NECKED RELATIVES, THE ARCHLUTE AND THEORBO, CONTINUED TO BE UBIQUITOUS FOR ACCOMPANIMENT WELL INTO THE 18TH CENTURY, EVEN AS THE SOLO REPERTOIRE IN PRINT AND MANUSCRIPT WANED.

FRENCH LUTENISTS, EXPERIMENTING WITH NEW TUNINGS BEFORE SETTLING ON A LUTE WHOSE TOP 6 STRINGS SPELLED AD MINOR CHORD (A'-D-F-A-D-F), AS DOES THE LUTE HEARD ON THIS RECORDING, CONTINUED THE SOLO TRADITION TO THE END OF THE 17 CENTURY.

 


PROGRAM

FRANÇOIS DUFAUT (CA.1604-1672) SUITE IN A MINOR

      1. PRELUDE
      2. ALLEMANDE
      3. COURANTE
      4. COURANTE
      5. SARABANDE
      6. GIGUE

FRANÇOIS DUFAUT

      7. PADUANA IN G MINOR

ESAIAS REUSNER (1636-1679) SUITE IN C MAJOR  

      8. ALLEMANDA
      9. COURANT
      10. SARABANDA
      11. GAVOTTE
      12. GIGUE

FRANÇOIS DUFAUT SUITE IN D MAJOR

      13. PRELUDE (ANON)
      14. LA SUPERBE ALLEMANDE
      15. COURANTE
      16. SARABANDE
      17. SAUTERELLE

FRANÇOIS DUFAUT SUITE IN G MINOR

      18. PRELUDE
      19. TOMBEAU DE BLANROCHER
      20. COURANTE SUEDOISE
      21. COURANTE
      22. GTGUE
      23. SARABANDE

ESAIAS REUSNER SUITE IN E MINOR

      24. ALLEMANDA
      25. COURANT
      26. SARABANDA
      27. ARIA
      28. GIGUE

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