Josquin des Prez: Sixteenth-century Lute Settings. Jacob Heringman. DGM0006.

Jacob Heringman explores a different, yet parallel lute repertory:

intabulations, or arrangements of vocal music, so-called because the

original staff notation score is transcribed into lute tablature. The

intabulator's job involves far more than copying. Somehow he has to make the music work in the new medium, make it playable on a 6-course lute (or, in Spain, vihuela), and embellish it with a variety of divisions and decorations. It is significant that well-established composers chose to arrange the work of others in this way, and add their own gloss. Usually these embellishments add an extra layer of beauty, but occasionally technical limitations of the instrument nudge intabulators towards various dodges, the most dubious of which is sharpening the 6th degree of the scale by a semitone to create what is theoretically a double sharp. This is done to use an open string instead of reaching to the correct note at the 4th fret of a lower string, which may sound clumsy, or is simply out of reach.

One such double sharp occurs as the 5th note of the CD.

Jacob Heringman sustains Josquin's long, static vocal phrases in his clean, expressive way. In Adieu mes amours he doesn't lose sight of Josquin's original conception through the mist of Newsidler's over-fussy embellishments. He creates a hypnotic effect with Capirola's Et in terra pax from the Missa Pange lingua, and his interpretation of Luys de Narvaez's intabulation of Mille regretz is particularly lovely.



Stewart McCoy, Early Music Today, Oct/Nov 2000