Lute Lovers

This blog is for lute lovers, people who are looking for lutes to buy or try and for selling the latests lutes for sale by www.jminstruments.com. Hand made not factory made but at affordable prices in the form of student lutes and more elaborate custom made lutes for professional players. if you can afford a student lute then I make lutes to hire too. You can hear examples of different sizes/ woods on my you-tube channel jamarriage.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Review of Stings Lute CD

When you first listen to the carefully selected pieces the voice seems out of place with the instrument (mostly archlute)but you become used to it. Its probably because I have become used to the sytle of early music performers. However this contrast made me listen to the words of the songs more than on other recordings by early music groups. After listening to the CD a few times I have grown to appreciate what it does, because of the contrast and Sting injecting his style to the singing it helped me imagine the emotion of John Dowland when he wrote the songs. You begin to understand why certain words were used and phrased through Stings style. Even though some songs do have a distracting simulated renaissance choir voice in the background you can appreciate his style. This is aninteresting change to other CD's of Dowlands lute songs because the supporting lute does not distract your attention from the voice.

The lute music is played mostly on Archlutes, which didn't exist in England at the time John Dowland was composing, which is not acurrate but then again this CD is not trying to fit in with the rest. This is what I have grown to like about it because it gives that fresh aproach to lute music which most early music performers won't be able to do since they have not come from a rock or pop background. The use of Archlutes for music that was intended for 7-9 course lute has allowed for some creative editing by Edin Karamazov and Sting. Some peices sound better with the bass played an octave lower. One particular piece 'Have you seen the bright Lily grow' is my favorite from the CD because the sound of the Archlute provides a very calming background, almost remenicent of Enya's style.

The CD is punctuated by the personal letters of John Dowland which Sting reads in a very captivating way, no doubt he brings the benefit of his acting career to entrance us. The words are spoken softly and draw you further into the mind of John Dowland which allow you to appreciate the meaning of the songs. Some of the songs are followed by solo lute pieces which are skilfully played by Edin Karamazov. I can tell that he likes the Baroque lute since the ornaments are different from the renaissance in some pieces. However this does seem to enhance the pieces. On the whole its a CD that is different from any other lute CD I have heard and is a welcome change of performing this period of music. It does not deserve the prejudice I have come across in some reviews but its not surprising it would cause a stirr in the Lute world as well as the Rock world. This is not just some celebrity doing something to be different there has been a creative collaboration from experts in Rock and Baroque. Open your mind a bit and enjoy what happens.

1 Comments:

Blogger Alan said...

James
I'm a bit late with my response, but would simply say that agree with you - even with regard to 'Have you seen the white lily grow' where singer and accompanist meld together beautifully.
It's good to have performance opened up more.

Alan

6:05 AM  

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