Polish Lute Music
of the Renaissance

Joachim Held, Lute

Release Date: 2019
Label: Hänssler Classic

Buy this CD: Amazon.com


Click here to launch our Audio Player

Polnische Lautenmusik
der Renaissance

Albert Dlugoraj
1558 - nach 1618

01. Praeludium, I-Gu 3M. VIII.24, f.6v
02. Fantasia, Besard TH 1603, f.27r
03. Fantasia, I-Gu 3M. VIII.24, ff. 179v-180r
04. Chorea Polonica, D-LEm II.6.15, p. 407
05. Chorea Polonica, D-LEm II.6.15, p. 407
06. Fantasia, D-LEm II.6.15, pp. 58-9
07. Courrent, D-LEm II.6.15, p. 25
Diomedes Cato

08. Prelude, D-LEm II.6.15, p. 20
09. Galliarda, Besard TH 1603, ff.122v-123r
10.Re mi fa sol la, D-Hs M B 2678. P.39
11.Favorito, Hove 1612, f. 50r
12.Fantasia, Besard TH 1603, f.29v
13.Galliarda, GB HAdolmetsch II.B.1, ff. 9v-11
14.Gagliarda, D-W Guelf. 18.8, VI, f.175r
15. Fantasia, Dowland 1610, sigs. E2v-F1r
16. Monycha, D-B Danzig 4022, ff.1v-4r
17. Courrante Sophla Monycha, V.B. D-B Danzig 4022, f. 4v
18. Balletto Polacho, D-B Danzig 4022, f. 16r
19. B.P. D-B Danzig 4022, f. 20r
20. B.P. D-B Danzig 4022, f. 20v
21. B.P. D-B Danzig 4022, f.21v
22. B.P. D-B Danzig 4022, f.25v
Jakub Polak
ca. 1545 - 1605

23. Praelud{ium}, Besard TH 1603, f.9v
24. Volte, GB-Cfm Mus.689, f.69r
25. Fantasia, Besard TH 1603, f.21v
26. Volte, GB-Cfm Mus.689, f.80r
27. Fantasie, GB-Cfm Mus.689, ff. 17v-18r
28. Gagliarda, Besard Novus Partus 1617, sig.L2v
29. Fantasie, GB-Cfm Mus.689, f. 14r
30. Courante, Hove Delitiae Musicae 1612, f. 62r
31. Fantasie, Dowland 1610, f.F2r-F2v

CD Information

For this excellent CD of Polish renaissance lute music Joachim Held plays seven pieces by Albert Dlugoraj (1558-after 1618), eight by Diomedes Cato (1565-1628), nine by Jakub Polak (c.1545-1605), and seven anonymous pieces. The first track for each of the three named composers is a prelude, setting the mood for the dances and fantasias which follow. The dance pieces are quite short, ranging from a mere 31 seconds to 1'41", but the fantasias are more substantial. Track 12 is a Fantasia by Diomedes from Besard's Thesaurus Harmonicus (1603). It is a fine piece, and well sustained by Held, albeit skipping a low G (a6) just towards the end. Track 15 is an extraordinary fantasia, five minutes long, with interesting chromatic turns and a couple of bars towards the end which are reminiscent of Dowland's Semper Dowland Semper Dolens. The piece was the first to be included in Robert Dowland's anthology, Varietie of Lute Lessons (London, 1610). From the same source Held plays a fantasia by Polak (Track 31). Something seems to have gone wrong with the recording at bar 15, because some notes are missing. All the anonymous pieces are from D-B Danzig 4022. The first, and at 6'08" the longest, is an interesting set of variations on Monycha [=Monica] aka Une Jeune Fillette, which Held takes at an appropriately unhurried speed. I am less happy with his leisurely speed and use of rolled chords for Track 20, the well-known dance from folio 20v of Danzig 4022, which I feel needs a more sprightly, foot-tapping interpretation.
Track 24 is a lively Volte by Polak, which has a clear 2-part texture (occasionally filled out to 3-part), with nice interplay between treble and bass. Held's brisk tempo is ideal, and he has contrasting loud and soft for the first section. Surprisingly he omits the first note of bar 9, but he does include three chords missing from the source (Lord Herbert of Cherbury's MS), which were inserted as bar 21 in Piotr Pozniak's edition.
Most useful is a list of sources provided in the liner notes, so if you want to follow the score, or play the pieces yourself, you know where to look. I cannot find any information about the sort of lute Held plays for the present CD. There is an uncaptioned photo of an eight-course lute on page eight of the liner notes, but no information about it or its maker.
I have always liked Held's playing. Unlike so many of today's lutenists, he eschews excessive rubato, and actually plays in time. He must have heeded the advice from the Johannes Nauclerus lute book, which he quotes in his liner notes: "And you must observe the beat, if you will court fair Maidens." I wish him luck with amorous activity.

Stewart Mc Coy, early music review

Press Reviews

2022. Johann Georg Weichenberger

2021. Telemann Kantaten

2019. polish Lute Music

2017. Early Works

2013. J.S. Bach The Original Lute Works

2010. Merry Melancholy

2008. Musique pour le Roi

2007. Che Soavità

2007. German Popular Songs

2007. Chi mi sente cantar

2006. German Lute Music

2006. Delightful Lute-Pleasure

2005. The Schele Manuscript Hamburg

2004. Nach willen dein

1996. I grandi liutisti Milanesi del Cinquecento

© Joachim-Held.com / All rights reserved / Disclaimer