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American Record Guide: (07/2017) 
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BIS2248




Code-barres / Barcode : 7318599922485(ID599)

 

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Reviewer: Charles Brewer
 

This is an eclectic collection of English and Italian songs from the 17th Century performed by Ruby Hughes. Her range of repertoire and style is impressive from Barbara Strozzi’s dramatic cantata, L’Eraclito amoroso to the simple beauty of the lament, ‘O death, rock me asleep’, attributed to Anne Boleyn. Particularly enjoyable is the imaginative and supportive accompaniment supplied by Nordberg and Brinkmann, who also supply instrumental interludes; Nordberg includes Giovanni Kapsberger’s ‘Toccata arpeggiata’ and Alessandro Piccinini’s ‘Ciaccona’; Brinkmann performs Vivaldi’s Cello Sonata in G minor (R 42), though the movements are interspersed between the songs. The Italian vocal selections also include works by Claudia Sessa and Lucrezia Vizzana (both nuns), along with Francesca Caccini’s ‘Lasciatemi qui solo’. The English selections range from the anonymous ‘Willow Song’ and John Bennet’s lute song, ‘Venus’ Birds’ from the early years of the 17th Century to two selections by Purcell. The first, ‘Oh, lead me to some peaceful gloom’, is from the play Bonduca, and Hughes offers a very intelligent and reflective interpretation of the vivid images of its text. The other was rather a surprise, ‘Dido’s Lament’ from Dido and Aeneas, though this trio creatively and very effectively reconfigures this famous aria into a solo song.

 

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