Thomas Walker Jr.

The Dufault Suite

It was a privilege to be immersed in French lute music for the Courante recording project with Edward Martin and Dan Larson. The music of the Gaultiers and their musical progeny takes hold subtly but firmly by agency of their love of rhythmic complexity, harmonic richness, and a frank love of the sonorities of their lutes.

Francois Dufault is a personal favorite of the group. Without diminishing the skill of his contemporaries, you could say that his particular attention to voice leading in the parts, even to discernible sense of polyphony, gave his music extra staying power. His lineage is very evident in the lute music of the gifted German proponent of the French idiom, Esaias Reusner. One in turn can trace his influence to the great master of the 18th century idiom, Silvius Leopold Weiss.

Contemporary lutenist and scholar Paul Beier has suggested that Dufault himself may have studied with Michelagnolo Galilei (son of the 16th century lutenist and theorist Vincenzo, brother of Galileo), whose print of Sonate from 1620 was itself ground breaking. At the least, a careful listen reveals the stylistic lineage.

So Francois Dufault emerges as a vital stylistic link between the lutenists whose roots were in the 16th century and one of the last masters of the instrument in the 18th.

Unlike the Gaultiers or Mouton, Dufault, for all the fame that extended beyond his life and outside of France, does not have a print dedicated to his suites. These pieces in a minor were gathered from various manuscripts and grouped into what was to become the typical French baroque suite. Suite for lute by Francois Dufault, played by Thomas Walker.

Courante: French Baroque Lute Duets

Edward Martin and Thomas Walker have brought together seventeen magnificent duets in this program, gathered from books and manuscripts from all over Europe. In addition to this unique collection of historical pieces they have also brought two new pieces to the repertoire by commissioning Tyler Kaiser to compose new counterparts for well-known historical pieces.


More Works From Thomas Walker

  • Stile Moderno, Stile Antico: Beautiful early 17th century music for lute and lute duet. By Thomas Walker Jr. and Phillip Rukavina.

  • Due: Beautifully played Renaissance duets for lute. By Phillip Rukavina and Thomas Walker Jr.


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