Thursday, July 31, 2008

Lone voices - the lute


The oud in my life is joined today by a lute. This instrument has already featured here many times but in this article I want to share with readers two outstanding super-low priced recitals of early music by a master lutenist.

Paul O'Dette was born in Columbus, Ohio in 1954 and after dabbling with the electric guitar at high school went on to establish himself as one of the leading players and teachers of the lute. He has made more than one hundred recordings both as soloist as an ensemble member with musicians such as Jordi Savall and Nikolaus Harnoncourt and among O'Dette's many fine solo recordings are the complete lute works of John Dowland. In 2001 Harmonia Mundi reissued several of his CDs at super-budget price. They are still in the catalogue and are quite unmissable both for students of the lute and for readers who want an affordable introduction to this most intimate of instruments.

The titles of the two recommended discs on which the lute is the lone voice aren't very adventurous but the music is. Lute Music Volume 1 is an all Kapsberger disc while Volume 2 mixes music from Milano, Borrono, L'Aquila and de Rippe. The sleeve art is super-budget cheesy so I haven't featured it here, but with retail prices around £5 ($10) or less for once I'm not complaining about the graphics. As well as lute (6-course tenor and alto on the first disc and 10-course on the second) O'Dette plays the chitarrone on Volume 1. Read about new music for the ancient chitarrone here.


Lone voices showcases musicians not featured in the 2008 BBC Proms, discover more lone voices here. Header lute image is sampled from Dr Zyg's string institute. Footer image reflects the Arab origins of the lute and was taken by me in Musée de Marrakech, Morocco. Lower image is (c) On An Overgrown Path 2008. Any copyrighted material on these pages is included as "fair use", for the purpose of study, review or critical analysis only, and will be removed at the request of copyright owner(s). Report broken links, missing images and errors to - overgrownpath at hotmail dot co dot uk

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