The Bach Players, directed by Nicolette Moonen. A beautiful programme including Charpentier’s rarely-heard sonata in 8 parts. I play a chaconne by Bartolotti for solo baroque guitar. Available from Hyphen Press, due for release early in 2014.
Also due for release in 2014 is The King’s Consort’s recording of Purcell’s Sonatas of Four Parts, with Cecilia Bernardini and Huw Daniel, violins; Susanne Heinrich, viola da gamba; Robert King, harpsichord and organ, and me on theorbo.
Hot off the press:
Handel arias from oratorios, sung by countertenor Iestyn Davies with Carolyn Sampson (soprano) and The King’s Consort. Available soon on the Vivat label. You can watch a video about the making of this recording here.
The Taverner Consort and Players, directed by Andrew Parrott. A spectacular team headed by Charles Daniels as Orfeo. Available from the Taverner Consort.
Wonderful singing from Carolyn Sampson and Marianne Beate Kjelland, and beautiful viola da gamba solos by Marais and Ste Colombe from Susanne Heinrich. Available from Vivat.
Madrigals and operatic excerpts, with soloists including Carolyn Sampson, Rebecca Outram, Sarah Connolly, Charles Daniels and James Gilchrist. Available from Vivat.
I Fagiolini, directed by Robert Hollingworth. Also includes Tallis’s Spem in Alium with added instruments, and a 60-part Agnus Dei by Striggio. One of the most memorable recordings of my career; I never, ever thought that I would PLAY Spem in alium on the lute! This recording won a Gramophone Early Music Award and a Diapason d’Or. Available from I Fagiolini.
The Bach Players, directed by Nicolette Moonen. Available from Hyphen Press.
Modern musical settings of several iconic texts. Directed by Robert Hollingworth, and produced by Philip Tennant.
Ex Cathedra, dir. Jeffrey Skidmore, with Concerto Palatino and His Majesty’s Sagbutts and Cornetts. Available from Hyperion Records.
I Fagiolini, directed by Robert Hollingworth, perform music by Viadana and Gabrieli, including a reconstruction of Gabrieli's Magnificat by Hugh Keyte. Decca.
Carolyn Sampson, and The King’s Consort, with Alexandra Bellamy (oboe) and Stephane-Marie Degand (violin). Available from Hyperion Records.
’So sweet a melody’. The Hildegard Choir, directed by Gulliver Ralston, with Emily Van Evera - solo soprano. An unusual programme of Christmas music for female voices, including Vladimir Godar’s haunting 'Ecce pure', one of the most effective modern works calling for chitarrone. It was a great pleasure to record it!
Canzoni per sonar. Music by Giovanni Gabrieli and his contemporaries. His Majesty’s Sagbutts and Cornetts, The Purcell Quartet, Chordophony. The debut recording of my lute quartet Chordophony. We play just two tracks on this disc, one with lute quartet alone, the other with the Purcell Quartet.
Requiem in Blue. A jazz requiem composed by Harvey Brough. I played electric theorbo and mariachi vihuela on this disc, along with a jazz band, adult and childrens’ choirs, and vocal soloists including Clara Sanabras, Leanne Carroll and Harvey himself.
Carnevale Veneziano. I Fagiolini, directed by Robert Hollingworth. Vocal music by Giovanni Croce, interspersed with lute trios by Giovanni Pacoloni, played by David Miller, Eligio Quinteiro and myself.
The Siena Lute Book. Jacob Heringman. I accompanied Jacob on two tracks on this disc, both variant settings on the Spagna basse dance.
A 16th century journey beginning in Venice c.1500 and travelling to London c.1600, by way of Milan, Nürnberg and Paris. Music by Dalza, Francesco da Milano, H. Neusidler, Attaignant, Le Roy, Holborne, Dowland and others, performed on 6 and 7 course G lutes, and bass lute.
Includes an extraordinarily complex solo lute transcription of a keyboard 'Felix Namque' from one of Matthew Holmes's lute manuscripts, and five lute songs sung by Stephen Taylor (countertenor), plus keyboard solos played by Laurence Cummings (virginals) and Andrew Benson-Wilson (organ), and consort music performed by the viols of Charivari Agréable.
Editor's Choice, Gramophone, December 2004: "A collection of delights ... Particularly noteworthy is the intricate lute version of Felix namque..."
"Another highlight ... was the astonishing lute-solo version of Felix namque II, played brilliantly by Lynda Sayce." Early Music Review, December 2004.
Editor's choice, Gramophone, October 2004.
Carolyn Sampson (soprano), James Gilchrist (tenor), The King's Consort, Choir of The King's Consort, directed by Robert King.
As well as the expected flute (here played exquisitely by Rachel Brown), Handel included a beautiful 'warbling lute' obbligato in the aria 'The soft complaining flute'. The arpeggiated sections of the lute part lie in a puzzlingly low register, and I have here interpreted them as harmonic sketches and re-voiced them in a more idiomatic register for the D minor lute on which the obbligato is played. I hope that it now warbles rather than rumbles...
An international programme of renaissance lute duets with Matthew Spring, on lutes of several sizes, and vihuela: works by Thomas Robinson, John Dowland, John Johnson, Francesco da Milano, Vincenzo Galilei, and others.
Charivari Agréable with Jamie Savan (cornett & mute cornett) and Oliver Webber (violin and viola). For lute afficionados this disc includes obbligato bass parts played on chitarrone and bass lute, my reconstruction of a guitar solo possibly by Filippo Piccinini, and Terzi's divisions on Vestiva i colli, originally for bass lute but here played with spectacular virtuosity by Susanne Heinrich on viola da gamba. This was my last recording with Charivari.
A rare opportunity to hear the continuo-only form of Monteverdi's 1610 Vespers, with the 6-part Magnificat instead of the more frequently performed 7-part version.
Mostly 17th century works from the New World. Composers include Araujo, Padilla, Lobo and Zipoli.
"This is one of the most eye-opening CDs - or should I say ear-opening - that I have heard this year. What a magical concoction of sounds - and what brilliant playing!" Henry Kelly’s CD of the week, Classic FM
“Ex Cathedra has unearthed some magnificent music here; there are plenty of fascinating discoveries performed with great feeling and panache, and with potent seasong from the period instruments. The disc has the makings of a bestseller, and certainly deserves to be” Geoffrey Norris, selecting The Telegraph’s CD of the Week.
Fire burning in snow. South American baroque music. Ex Cathedra, directed by Jeffrey Skidmore. Available from Hyperion Records.
Moon, sun and all things. South American baroque music. Ex Cathedra, directed by Jeffrey Skidmore. Available from Hyperion Records.
“Jeffrey Skidmore and his ensemble's expertise has long been established and is everywhere apparent here. The blend of the vocal line is superb and the handling of ornament is little short of breathtaking....” (BBC Music Magazine, April 2004)
“...what a choir, gutsy when required, but flexible enough to cope with Charpentier's ever-changing choiral configurations… this is a thrilling release, and I heartily recommend it.” (International Record Review, March 2004)
“ Such is the quite exceptional quality of these performances, and the sheer splendor of the sound Hyperion's engineers have produced... Suffice it to say that Skidmore once again demonstrates his total empathy with French Baroque repertoire, inspiring his large choral forces to performances that capture a huge gamut of emotions ranging from thrilling grandeur to heartbreaking sublimity. The issue is an absolutely magnificent achievement all round.” (Fanfare, March 2004)
"In other hands, a series of four tracks for solo lute in the middle of a CD could be a mistake, but superb playing makes this a magical moment." Early Music News, November 2002.
"In sum a delightful disc, and a treasure trove of pieces that are very rarely heard." BBC Music Magazine, November, 2002.
A rare opportunity to hear mandora continuo, and some of the lute works of Rudolf Straube, a pupil of J.S.Bach. Another highlight is Kah-Ming Ng's virtuosic account of a J.C.Bach sonata on an original 1776 Kirkman harpsichord.
"Lynda Sayce plays her dark 13-string instrument with full expression, clarity, cleanness, and flexibility." American Record Guide, Jan./Feb. 2001
"This ingenious collection, focused on the pre-eminent 18th-century portrait painter, presents a highly entertaining selection of Georgian compositions by London-based composers all of whom were the painter's friends. Particularly impressive and completely unknown to me were a number of pieces by Rudolf Straube for 13-course lute, beautifully interpreted and executed by Lynda Sayce." D. James Ross, Early Music Forum of Scotland.
"The two seven-course lutes playing Farnaby's 'Loth to depart' are pure magic." American Record Guide, May 2000.
"…The solo lute version of Gibbons's majestic The Lord of Salisbury his Pavan has a stylish poise and clarity of part-playing that would be hard to equal on the less flexible virginals." Gramophone.
A rare opportunity to hear a double-strung English theorbo, playing both continuo and solo (in my arrangement of Gaultier's 'La pompe funebre'.
"Bravo! An imaginative and polished recording of 16th- and early 17th-century music that effectively conjures up the musical life and times of the court of Philip II. Each of the three regular members of the ensemble has contributed tasteful and plausible arrangements of works, relying to a great extent on Susanne Heinrich’s deeply evocative viol playing and Lynda Sayce’s stylish and accomplished vihuela accompaniments." Gramophone.
Michel de la Barre. Flute Suites. Nancy Hadden (baroque flute), with Lucy Carolan (harpsichord), Erin Headley (viola da gamba), Elizabeth Walker (baroque flute), Lynda Sayce (theorbo). ASV.
This most colourful of Vivaldi's surviving oratorios includes obbligato parts for just about everything, including four theorbos portraying the clatter and bustle as servants prepare for a feast. The highlight for me was accompanying Ann Murray with an obbligato on baroque mandolin.
Albinoni. 12 Concertos, Op.9. The Academy of Ancient Music, directed by Christopher Hogwood. Andrew Manze (solo violin), Frank de Bruine and Alfredo Bernardini (oboes). Decca.
My baroque mandolin had another outing here, in Vivaldi's hilarious Concerto RV558, for 2 recorders, 2 chalumeaux, 2 mandolins, 2 theorbos, 2 violins 'in tromba marina', cello and strings. The disc also includes a beautiful performance of Vivaldi's concerto RV540 for lute and viola d'amore, played by Nigel North and Andrew Manze.