ALMOST "LUTE LIKE"
GEORGE RANNIE | DENVER, COLORADO United States | 01/10/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"David Russell has been part of my guitar listening experience for sometime now. He truly is a phenomenal guitarist. On this album he plays many of what I call "Renaissance Hits" on, of course, the "acoustic" guitar. I had to listen very close to determine that he really was playing these Renaissance works on the guitar and not on the lute itself. He does a fantastic job of replicating the sound of the lute and what I consider the "Renaissance Style ", The album contains a good sample of Renaissance music with y works by John Dowland, Pietro Borrono, William Byrd and of course by that ubiquitous "Anonymous." I feel that this album could really be valuable as an introduction to the beauties of "Renaissance Music". Anyway, David Russell plays the works contained therein splendidly with very beautiful tone"
One of my very favorite albums!
Orpharion | San Diego, CA USA | 06/19/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"David Russell's album of Renaissance lute pieces works beautifully on the modern classical guitar. He eschews contemporary Spanish guitar techniques like glissando, heavy vibrato, slurring, and portamento. David presents these pieces as they would sound played by a first rate lutenist.
Mr. Russell's touch is light and graceful, and he invests a great deal of feeling in his exquisite phrasing, ornamentation, and lively rhythms. He also employs a capo to raise the pitch of the guitar up two frets to be closer to the range of a Renaissance lute. The modern guitar is tuned EADGBE from 6th to 1st strings, while modern lutenists nominally tune to GCFADG from 6th to 1st strings with added bass strings to expand the range of the instrument. Historical lutes are seen early in the 1500s with 6 pairs of strings. Later decades adopted added "courses" or pairs of strings in the lower register.
Surviving Renaissance instruments include 6 course, 7 course, 8 course, and 10 course lutes. Modern guitarists who play this repertoire will often tune the 6th string down a step or play written bass notes an octave higher.
I never tire of listening to this album and especially enjoy his interpretation of the master Elizabethan lute composer, John Dowland.
David Russell's playing is a breath of fresh air among the myriad classical guitar players who rely on showy technique and forceful, hard as nails tone."