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Joachim Van den Hove (1567-1620): 'Florida' - Pavanas, Fantasias & Dances for Lute / Massimo Marchese, lute

Notes & Reviews:

A prolific composer and arranger of music, Joachim van den Hove lived in the Republic of the Netherlands during a particularly culturally vibrant period of the 17th century. In this time the lute flourished, thanks to its versatility, with repertoire ranging from dance suites to variations on popular tunes. Although England was a centre of lute music, the Netherlands also experienced its own lute 'Golden Age'. This period was marked by a number of publications of lute manuscripts, among them three by Van den Hove, some containing his own music and some made up of works by various composers. The Florida manuscript, dating from 1601, contains a variety of pieces typical of the time. Although most are anonymous, close analysis of the music has revealed that the majority were composed or arranged by Van den Hove himself. The sheer variety of the compositions bears witness to the wide range of influences present in the Republic of the Netherlands at the time: from Italian Pavanas, Almandes from Germany and Passemezzos from France, England and Italy via the Low Countries, Van den Hove found himself at the centre of a flourishing of European lute music. The collection is therefore highly international, although this release concludes with a number of popular tunes from Holland: the Flemish composer's tribute to his adopted fatherland. Experienced performer Massimo Marchese is well-equipped to tackle the wide scope of the Florida manuscript. He has already recorded for Brilliant Classics, having released two albums of music by Robert de Visée with Manuel Staropoli and others (BC94154 & BC94437), where his theorbo playing was singled out as "delightful" by online music magazine MusicWeb. His career as a lutenist has seen him collaborate with various early music ensembles, including Dodekachordon - Orchestra of Lutes, directed by Jakob Lindberg. This is the first ever recording of music selected exclusively from the Florida manuscript, a document that pays tribute to the remarkable amount of lute activity in the Republic of the Netherlands' Golden Age. Joachim van den Hove lived and worked in Amsterdam in a particularly prosperous and culturally vibrant period, the Golden Age of the Republic of the Netherlands, when overseas trade brought in immeasurable riches. Van den Hove's instrument was the lute, the most fashionable instrument at the time. He published three substantial collections of lute compositions, one of them called 'Florida', published in 1601, containing a wealth of works from a wide variety of sources: Italian Pavans, German Allemandes and Passemezzos from France, a proof of the attraction of Amsterdam as an international cultural melting pot. Most of the works were in fact written or arranged by van den Hove himself. Lutenist Massimo Marchese did extensive research into the lute manuscripts of the Golden Age, he is a brilliant instrumentalist who already successfully recorded for Brilliant Classics, including lute works by The Visée. Booklet contains extensive liner notes and artist biography.

American Record Guide, September/October 2015
Massimo Marchese is a well-established lute, vihuela, and theorbo specialist, with nearly 20 CDs in his discography. He studied with Jakob Lindberg and Paul O'Dette, and is a worthy successor to those artists. I can't imagine anyone not being charmed by Marchese's performances here - tasteful, expressive, and delightful. He conjures a different world, a time of graceful elegance, and I greatly enjoyed my visit.


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