The Siena Lute Book
Jacob Heringman
Avie AV0036

What better way to evoke the gentle ambience of Tuscany than to play this lovely CD of music from two lute books compiled there in the 16th century? The Siena Lute Book, housed in the Gemeentemuseum in the Hague, and the Dolmetsch Haslemere MS II C23, were both copied by the same scribe and between them contain lute intabulations of a bewildering array of genres. Lute classics by Francesco da Milano and Albert de Rippe rub shoulders with intabulations of chansons by Janequin and Crequillon, and of organ works by Giulio Segni. It is a shame that the name of the scribe who so painstakingly recorded these works has not been preserved, preventing us from tracing the book's provenance, but it is pleasing and plausible to picture them as the repertoire of an excellent lutenist, professional or amateur, whiling away the hours in one of Tuscany's breathtaking villas and aristocratic residences. As always, Heringman's playing is impeccably accurate and extremely expressive, and his readings of this immediately attractive repertoire intelligent and constantly engaging.

D. James Ross, Early Music Forum of Scotland News, 2004