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Fanfare Magazine: 25:6 (07-08/2002)
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Harmonia Mundi
HMG 507291

Code-barres / Barcode: 0794881854622



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Reviewer: J. F. Weber

The 500th anniversary of music printing went by with little notice last year, but Ottaviano del Petrucci comes in for belated attention with this disc, recorded two years ago, probably intended for more timely release. It offers selections from Petrucci's first three publications, Harmonice Musices Odhecaton A, Canti B, and Canti C, which appeared between 1501 and 1504. Despite the implication, all of these prints were instrumental versions, largely untexted, of songs written in previous decades. Petrucci's discovery was a method not merely of passing the paper through the press three times for staves, notes, and texts, but of aligning them perfectly. (This is no simple matter, for Willi Apel's textbook, The Notation of Polyphonic Music, 900-1500, included many music examples with black and red notation. While the first edition was fine, subsequent reprintings failed to align the red notes with the rest, a problem for students using it.)

Fretwork, as expected, has selected only instrumental music for viol consort, taking half of its pieces from Canti C and only three from Canti B. Fretwork plays with its usual panache, giving us a broad look at the music of a moment in time, Venice, 1501. Viol consort lovers will not overlook the disc.

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