Klassik Heute 9/9/9 September 2012; Klassik.com: triple 5 stars October 2012.
Its overall length (upwards of 160 cm) and great number of strings (up to 16 courses) makes the chitarrone one of the more spectacular instruments of the early baroque. The name probably means ‘large kithara’, after the instrument played by the Classical Greek poets, and it was first developed as a bass lute in order to accompany singing and recitative – indeed it appears to have become the favourite instrument in Italy for accompanying the voice by 1600. It also enjoyed a short-lived but rich flowering as a solo instrument, however, to which the three virtuosi of the album title all contributed greatly, as performers as well as composers. Between 1604 and 1640, Giovanni Girolamo Kapsperger (also known as Johann Hieronymus Kapsberger), Alessandro Piccinini and Bellerofonte Castaldi published a number of collections of chitarrone music, from which Jakob Lindberg has chosen some favourite dances, arias, toccatas and passacaglias. Combined into seven suites, they provide rich opportunity to enjoy the particular timbre and the special playing techniques of this splendid instrument, the chitarrone. Highly regarded both for his live performances and his many recordings, Jakob Lindberg has a long-standing interest in the many varieties of lutes, including lute mandorée, orpharion and archlute, and has now dedicated himself to researching their relative – research which informs both the performances and Lindberg’s own liner notes.
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