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A,erican Record Guide: (09/2018) 
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Reviewer: Catherine Moore
 

With sensuous vigor, singer Pino De Vittorio, lutenist and director Bor Zuljan, and the other three members of La Lyra present the music of Giacomo Gorzanis (c 1525-c 1575) as a vibrant affirmation of life. The 10 instrumental and 12 vocal pieces here range from the soft beauty of a solo lute ricercar that follows and echos ‘Questi Capelli D’Or’—in which the singer makes it clear that although he knows the pain of love, he also loves the pain—to the shimmering resonant timbre of hammered dulcimer in ‘Scarpello Si Vedra’ and the lutes and percussion in the Passo e Mezzo and Saltarello dances named for Gorzanis himself. In a contrasting mood, the grief and bitterness of the poetic text in ‘Alma Perche T’Affliggi’ are amplified by choice of instrument (viola da gamba) and vocal color (gripping sadness). For me the soft distant church bells at the very end of the final track (‘Il Bel Vis’ e I Begli Occhi’) evoke a reminder that although rooted in a specific time and place, old music can be brought to life today.

 

Expert performances are captured in full engaging recorded sound, and I am happy to learn that an edition of Gorzanis’s complete works is underway. Three volumes are already out, CD booklet essay writer Dinko Fabris is on the editorial board, and ensemble leader Bor Zuljan is “preparing an extensive study” of the composer’s lute books. Gorzanis was a lutenist himself, active in courts in Graz, Austria and in Carniola (a duchy in what is now Slovenia) and I look forward to hearing more of his music.

Notes, texts, translations.

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