O Lux Beata

O Lux Beata


Artist: Becky Baxter

Composers: Pierre Attaingnant, Antonio de Cabezón, Giovanni della Casa, Joan Ambrosio Dalza, Guillaume Dufay, Luis Venegas de Henestrosa, Orlando di Lasso, Jacques Moderne, Riccardo Rognoni, Tomas de Santa Maria, Claudin de Sermisy, Bartolomeo Tromboncino, Enríquez de Valderrábano

Format: 1 CD


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It's hard to say just what kind of market there is for a disc of Renaissance harp music, but there's no denying the agreeable, even soothing sound of these instruments—and there are several different types featured here—played with such conviction, clear articulation, and sensitivity by harpist Becky Baxter. Although among plucked stringed instruments we more often hear from the guitar, lute, and theorbo, in Renaissance Europe the harp held enough importance that, although comparatively small in quantity, music was published specifically for it, most notably in Spanish manuscripts. Given the nature of the instrument, primarily its role in accompanying songs and dances, much of the harp's solo music reflects its association with those traditional, popular forms, from engagingly melodic chansons to highly rhythmic dance styles. We get a fair selection of all of these kinds of pieces among the disc's 25 tracks, but on several tunes Baxter also is joined by instruments such as Baroque violin, an additional harp, guitar, and even bagpipes. For the pieces with bagpipe, the harp is fitted with "brays", which are special wooden pins set in the soundboard so the vibrating string will buzz against them. Together, the reedy sound of the bagpipes and the buzzing harp strings produce a wild and very colorful effect that's impossible to ignore. Baxter is one of the world's most accomplished and versatile masters of these difficult instruments, and she makes it all sound effortless. She also supplies informative liner notes and presents the whole program in excellent sound.

—David Vernier, ClassicsToday.com

Track List

1. Del tuo bel volto by Bartolomeo Tromboncino 2:35
2. Branles de bourgogne by Jacques Moderne 4:30
3. O lux beata trinitas by Antonio De Cabezón 2:18
4. Contrapunto sobre el tenor del "Conde Claros" by Enríquez de Valderrábano 2:13
5. Basse danse(s) by Pierre Attaingnant 1:08
6. Pour ung plaisir by Claude de Sermisy 1:14
7. La folia by Anonymous 9:05
8. Surge cor lasso by Bartolomeo Tromboncino 2:39
9. Veni creator spiritus by Antonio De Cabezón 2:28
10. First Dance Book: no 28, Galliard by Pierre Attaingnant 1:43
11. Balle and Branles by Pierre Attaingnant 3:13
12. Pavanne "Bel fiore" by Pierre Attaingnant 3:42
13. Basse danses (18): Gaillarde by Pierre Attaingnant 1:14
14. Libro de cifra nueva: Fantasia for Vihuela no 13 by Luis de Venegas 3:13
15. Cancionero musical de Palacio: A la mia gran pena forte by Anonymous 3:54
16. Cancionero musical de Palacio: So el encina by Anonymous 3:43
17. Entra Mayo y sale Abril by Anonymous 1:18
18. Il vero modo di diminuir, libri 1 et 2: Frais et gaillard by Girolamo Dalla Casa 4:22
19. Piva by Joan Ambrosio Dalza 2:09
20. Fantasy in mode 2 by F Thomas de Santa Maria 1:06
21. Fantasy in mode 8 by F Thomas de Santa Maria :58
22. Un gay bergier by Ricardo Rognono 3:54
23. Intabolatura di varie sorte di balle...Libro primo (Venice, 1551): L'herba fresca gagliarda by Anonymous 1:46
24. Trop lonc temps by Guillaume Dufay 2:42
25. O occhi manza mia by Orlando de Lassus 1:54

Total time: 73:12
Release date: January 11, 2000
UPC: 053479319326