Golden Age lute transcriptions

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pogmoor
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Re: Golden Age lute transcriptions

Post by pogmoor » Thu Sep 10, 2009 6:33 am

branislav wrote:Yes, you are right Avoz, I figured out that, contrary to me belief, these pieces in Strizic's book were transcribed from baroque guitar, not lute. I thought that this Chaconne in D-minor, that Rolf Lislevand plays at Youtube, was originally written for Lute/Theorbo, and this suite is included in Strizich book. Actually, do you know, perhaps this D-minor suite with that Chaconne was originally written for Lute or Theorbo, and then transcribed for baroque guitar at that time? So we probably have two original versions today.

I am not aware that anybody performed theorbo or lute music on guitar in "appropriate manner". But, I want to believe this is possible, at least in the near-appropriate manner!
There's a little bit of relevant discussion about de Visee here: viewtopic.php?f=7&t=37883&start=0&hilit=de+visee. The theorbo works attributed to de Visee (including theorbo versions of baroque guitar pieces and theorbo versions of keyboard pieces by Couperin) are found (I believe) in one particular manuscript (Vaudray de Saizenay) and my understanding is that lute scholars are not 100% sure they are by de Visee himself. However, whoever the author of these pieces was, works that exist in versions for different instruments give us valuable clues about how to transcribe music to the modern guitar in an 'appropriate' manner.
Eric from GuitarLoot
Renaissance and Baroque freak; classical guitars by Paul Fischer (1995) and Lester Backshall (2008)
Yamaha SLG 130NW silent classical guitar (2014), Ramirez Guitarra del Tiempo (2017)

avoz

Re: Golden Age lute transcriptions

Post by avoz » Thu Sep 10, 2009 11:13 am

pogmoor, Thanks for the link to the De Visee theorbo piece which, I had not seen/heard before. There are several facets to any discussion about what might be "appropriate" or even "authentic" (let's not go down that red herring-strewn path) but it is sufficient to say that some pieces sound as good (even better perhaps) in a new 'guise' whereas many do not (to my ears, of course - which are part of a unique construction of skin & bone - liable to a good deal of subjectivity).
Going off topic, congratulations on your website which is one of the best I have seen.

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Re: Golden Age lute transcriptions

Post by pogmoor » Thu Sep 10, 2009 3:57 pm

avoz wrote:....but it is sufficient to say that some pieces sound as good (even better perhaps) in a new 'guise' whereas many do not......

With this I wholeheartedly agree....and thanks for your kind words about my website :)
Eric from GuitarLoot
Renaissance and Baroque freak; classical guitars by Paul Fischer (1995) and Lester Backshall (2008)
Yamaha SLG 130NW silent classical guitar (2014), Ramirez Guitarra del Tiempo (2017)

john connor

Re: Golden Age lute transcriptions

Post by john connor » Fri Sep 11, 2009 12:49 pm

This is a very interesting thread - I'd love to see more.

This French music is clearly special - for one thing, it doesn't suit the modern CG all that well - anybody who plays it knows immediately that you are dealing with something that's designed for a different type of instrument - the ornaments alone show that.

But what intrigues me the most is the fact that the music is attempting to evoke quite complex thoughts or emotions in a way which is probably unique in western music, although I've only the vaguest idea about the background to all this.

It's not just about making the listener sad or happy - it seems to be much wider and deeper than that - it's an art which, as the title of the book says, is presenting the "rhetoric of the gods" - presumably creating the appropriate effect [or affect] is what informs the placing of the ornaments and is part of the reason for their complexity.

I suppose all of this has to do with the complex role of classicism in French art, literature and music - comparing French lute music of this period with its German or English equivalents shows how very different it is.

Can anyone recommend a book or article that might illuminate all this for a non-specialist guitar player? - I've had the impression over the years that French musicians naturally learn a lot about the subject - but it's a topic that isn't covered much or well in other countries.

John

avoz

Re: Golden Age lute transcriptions

Post by avoz » Fri Sep 11, 2009 2:16 pm

john connor wrote:
I suppose all of this has to do with the complex role of classicism in French art, literature and music - comparing French lute music of this period with its German or English equivalents shows how very different it is.
John, This is a huge, very complex subject with a growing literature to match which can be bedevilled by historicity and inappropriate terminology, e.g 'classicism' in the narrow (periodic) sense came after the period under discussion. It would be best to start any studies with a broad, general history of music and then narrow the view to particular countries, composers etc. There are many such studies and I have found two useful: 'The development of Western Music: A history' by K. Marie Stolba - a violinist and musicologist, Professor of Music at Indiana University - (publisher Brown & Benchmark, ISBN 0-697-12693-5); 'The Larousse Encyclopedia of Music' - various contributors, edited by Geoffrey Hindley (pub. Hamlyn, ISBN 0 600 35491 1) an older publication than the aforementioned, but lavishly illustrated and a 'great read'. There are probably many articles on the web and, fortunately, any studies can be supported by myriad recordings of the music.
The French style brise (accent over the e) influenced German music, e.g. Reusner et al and other French influences abound in the music of J.S. Bach and composers in other countries as did powerful Italian influences 'cross-currents' from England and other countries into the European melting pot.

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Re: Golden Age lute transcriptions

Post by tateharmann » Sat Aug 26, 2017 4:31 am

I also have really grown to love this French Lute music. I haven't heard a lot of it on guitar, but I did recently stumble on a beautiful 2014 recording of Marten Falk playing Gaultier's "Tombeau de Mezangeau" - very, very nice on the guitar.

I also recommend listening to this music played on an 11 course lute...it really shines through on this instrument. There are some great recordings by very fine lutenists like Rolf Lislevand and Hopkinson Smith of this music. But I just have to mention my new favorite: Anthony Bailes. He has a number of recordings done of the French music made with an original 1722, 11 course lute strung completely in gut. He had the basses weighted with salts to get the proper mass and the whole thing just sounds so lovely, he has such silky tone :) highly recommended
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