Harmonia Early Music

Great Musicians: Paul O’Dette, Lutenist

Paul O’Dette explores lute pieces by dall’Aquila, the I.U. Pro Arte ensemble digs into the Spanish Renaissance, and Los Musicos de Su Alteza performs Samaniego.

Paul O

Photo: Hanja Chlala

American lutenist Paul O'Dette.

O’Dette plays dall’Aquila

Paul O’Dette is one of the finest lutenists in the world. He is a critically-acclaimed and award-winning performer, as well as a distinguished teacher and scholar, who has championed the music of Renaissance composers throughout his career, releasing numerous recordings of well-known and obscure music. Paul continues to leave his unique stamp on early music and in particular the early repertoire for lute and guitar.

One of Paul’s more recent projects involved recording lute pieces by Marco dall’Aquila, an important performer and composer from Renaissance Italy.

Marco dall’Aquila: La Battaglia, Saltarello 'La Traditora' No. 1, and Il Marchese di Saluzzo
Paul O’Dette, lute — Lute Pieces by Marco dall’Aquila (Harmonia Mundi , 2010)
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Paul’s experience in recording dall’Aquila’s music was met with unexpected challenges. In April of 2009, the city of L’Aquila, Italy, where he planned to make the recording, suffered a catastrophic earthquake. What was initially supposed to be another recording project turned into a deeply personal experience.

Marco dall’Aquila: La Cara Cossa No. 10, Ricercar – 26, Nous bergiers, and Carnalesca
Paul O’Dette, lute — Lute Pieces by Marco dall’Aquila (Harmonia Mundi , 2010)
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Cristóbal de Morales and the Spanish Renaissance

The most influential Spanish Renaissance composer before Victoria was Cristóbal de Morales, a native of Seville. Trained as a singer and organist, Morales wrote primarily for the church, yet a few villancicos and madrigals by him survive.

After he passed away, his reputation grew as his music spread to France, Germany, Italy, the Low Countries and Spain, as well as the New World where at the end of the 1550s his music was sung in Mexico to commemorate Emperor Charles V. Another far-flung place where Morales’ music was performed during the 16th Century was Luanda, the capital Angola (records give an account of the singing of a mass and a motet).

Morales composed for every possible church occasion, including masses, motets, lamentations, requiems, and magnificats.

Featured Release

Our featured release of the week is a world-premiere Alpha label recording of villancicos by Spanish baroque composer Joseph Ruiz Samaniego. The Zaragoza-based ensemble Los Musicos de Su Alteza (directed by Luis Antonio Gonzalez) perform select works mostly dedicated to Our Lady of the Pillar, patron virgin of Zaragoza and of the city’s cathedral.

Samaniego was chapelmaster at the cathedral during the 17th Century and composed prolifically during his tenure.

Joseph Ruiz Samaniego: “Sirenas del viento," Tocata de Ministriles, and “De esplendor se doran los aires”
Los Musicos de Su Alteza/Luis Antonio Gonzalez — La Vida es Sueño: Villancicos of Joseph Ruiz Samaniego (Alpha, 2009)
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Marco dall’Aquila: La Battaglia, Saltarello 'La Traditora' No. 1, and Il Marchese di Saluzzo
Paul O’Dette, lute — Lute Pieces by Marco dall’Aquila (Harmonia Mundi , 2010)
Buy from Amazon »
album cover
Marco dall’Aquila: La Cara Cossa No. 10, Ricercar – 26, Nous bergiers, and Carnalesca
Paul O’Dette, lute — Lute Pieces by Marco dall’Aquila (Harmonia Mundi , 2010)
Buy from Amazon »
album cover
Cristóbal de Morales: 'Magnificat primi toni"
Indiana University Pro Arte Singers/Gregory Geehern — Portuguese Renaissance (Live performance, Auer Hall, April 25, 2010)
album cover
Joseph Ruiz Samaniego: “Sirenas del viento," Tocata de Ministriles, and “De esplendor se doran los aires”
Los Musicos de Su Alteza/Luis Antonio Gonzalez — La Vida es Sueño: Villancicos of Joseph Ruiz Samaniego (Alpha, 2009)
Buy from Amazon »
album cover
Bernard Gordillo

Bernard Gordillo was born in Managua, Nicaragua, and raised in New Orleans. He holds degrees from Centenary College of Louisiana, the Early Music Institute at Indiana University, and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama (London). Bernard also writes and hosts the Harmonia Early Music Podcast.

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