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La Guitarre Royalle

William Carter

La Guitarre Royalle

CKD 185 (Linn Records)
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Compact Disc

$20.00

CD Quality

FLAC 16bit 44.1kHz 278.7MB $13.00

CD Quality

ALAC 16bit 44.1kHz 286.7MB $13.00

MP3

MP3 320k 44.1kHz 168.1MB $11.00
Prices shown in US Dollars



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Tracks: Listen and Download

Format
Track Time Listen
1
Pieces in C Chaconne

Pieces in C Chaconne

Composer Francesco Corbetta
10:15 Play $5.10
2
Pieces in C Menuet

Pieces in C Menuet

Composer Francesco Corbetta
1:32 Play $1.70
3
Pieces in C Autre Chaconne

Pieces in C Autre Chaconne

Composer Francesco Corbetta
1:59 Play $1.70
4
Prelude

Prelude

Composer Francesco Corbetta
3:05 Play $1.70
5
Folie

Folie

Composer Francesco Corbetta
4:03 Play $1.70
6
Sarabande

Sarabande

Composer Francesco Corbetta
2:53 Play $1.70
7
Suite in G minor Prelude

Suite in G minor Prelude

Composer Francesco Corbetta
1:06 Play $1.70
8
Suite in G minor Allemande

Suite in G minor Allemande

Composer Francesco Corbetta
3:53 Play $1.70
9
Suite in G minor Courante

Suite in G minor Courante

Composer Francesco Corbetta
1:39 Play $1.70
10
Suite in G minor Sarabande

Suite in G minor Sarabande

Composer Francesco Corbetta
1:58 Play $1.70
11
Suite in G minor Gigue

Suite in G minor Gigue

Composer Francesco Corbetta
2:18 Play $1.70
12
Suite in G minor Passacaille

Suite in G minor Passacaille

Composer Francesco Corbetta
2:57 Play $1.70
13
Pieces in D Gigue a la maniere Anglois

Pieces in D Gigue a la maniere Anglois

Composer Francesco Corbetta
1:52 Play $1.70
14
Pieces in D Menuet

Pieces in D Menuet

Composer Francesco Corbetta
0:59 Play $1.70
15
Pieces in D Chaconne

Pieces in D Chaconne

Composer Francesco Corbetta
2:41 Play $1.70
16
Suite in A minor Prelude

Suite in A minor Prelude

Composer Francesco Corbetta
0:49 Play $1.70
17
Suite in A minor Allemande

Suite in A minor Allemande

Composer Francesco Corbetta
4:35 Play $1.70
18
Suite in A minor Courante

Suite in A minor Courante

Composer Francesco Corbetta
2:04 Play $1.70
19
Suite in A minor Sarabande-La Victoire

Suite in A minor Sarabande-La Victoire

Composer Francesco Corbetta
2:30 Play $1.70
20
Suite in A minor Passacaille

Suite in A minor Passacaille

Composer Francesco Corbetta
2:18 Play $1.70
21
Folie in G minor

Folie in G minor

Composer Francesco Corbetta
2:46 Play $1.70
22
Las Vacas Espagnole

Las Vacas Espagnole

Composer Francesco Corbetta
1:52 Play $1.70
23
Suite in G major Prelude

Suite in G major Prelude

Composer Francesco Corbetta
0:45 Play $1.70
24
Suite in G major Allemande

Suite in G major Allemande

Composer Francesco Corbetta
2:23 Play $1.70
25
Suite in G major Courante

Suite in G major Courante

Composer Francesco Corbetta
1:50 Play $1.70
26
Suite in G major Sarabande

Suite in G major Sarabande

Composer Francesco Corbetta
2:19 Play $1.70
27
Suite in G major Passacaille

Suite in G major Passacaille

Composer Francesco Corbetta
2:19 Play $1.70
28
Passacaille

Passacaille

Composer Francesco Corbetta
3:11 Play $1.70
Total Running Time 73 minutes Purchase all tracks 
$13.00 
Prices shown in US Dollars

La Guitarre Royalle is William Carter's first solo recording and features the works of Francesco Corbetta (c. 1615-1681) who taught guitar to Louis XIV. 

"William Carter of Palladians performs with great agility and eloquence, on a first solo disc with as much appeal for fans of Eric Clapton as those of John Williams." The Observer

Download includes - cover art, booklet

Produced by Philip Hobbs

Recorded at St Andrews Church, Toddington, UK 24 – 26 August 2001
Produced and Engineered by Philip Hobbs
Post Production by Julia Thomas
Photography by Amit Lennon

"The guitar is no more than a cowbell , so easy to play... that there isn't a stable boy who isn't a musician of the guitar Sebastian de Covarrubias (1611)

"The exact contrary of what is generally believed is often the truth." Jean de la Bruyere (1645-1696)

Something interesting happened in the 1580's. The renaissance guitar (think of a ukulele, its direct descendant) was enlarged and given a 5th string. This new instrument was perfect for strumming and people just couldn't help themselves, they chucked the rules of polyphony out the window and started having fun on the guitar (Its first method book teaches you how to strum your way through a Palestrina mass!) A guitar craze started which spread through Europe and lasted over a century. The guitar was played by almost everyone, from Spanish stable boys to the crowned heads of Europe and by the middle of the 17th century there was a tremendous variety of music for it, from simple strummed chord patterns to some of the most complex and subtle music ever written for a plucked instrument. The apex of this pyramid of quality is occupied by the figure of Francisco Corbetta. In his music the guitar found a voice which allowed it to match in refinement and expressiveness the best solo music for the Viol, Harpsichord or Lute.

Corbetta's life as a wandering virtuoso was filled with incident and adventure and if the rough sketch we can reconstruct at this distance is anything to go by, the loss of his memoirs (mentioned by Adam Ebert in 1701) is a tragedy. He settled on the guitar early; his obituary in the Mercure Galant tells us ' From his youth he was so fond of this instrument that his parents, who had destined him for something different, used caresses and menaces in vain to detach him from it.' He published his first book of guitar music in 1639 [at about the age of 20] and then left Italy and headed north. After successes in Vienna, Hanover and Brussels, he travelled to Spain (where they were still talking about him 30 years later; Gaspar Sanz calls him El mejor de todos – “the best of all”). This was followed by an invitation to Versailles from the Cardinal Mazarin, where he not only taught the guitar to the young Louis XIV, but also had the honour of dancing alongside him in one of the Ballets de Court, the music to which was by another Italian guitar playing friend of Louis: Jean-Baptiste Lully.

He also moved in expatriate English circles and when Charles II returned to England, Corbetta came with him. This earned him some sour entries in Samuel Pepys' diary; Pepys preferred the music of the lute and found the guitar irritating:

August 5, 1667
“After done with the Duke of York, and coming out through his dressing room, I there spied Signor Francisco tuning his guitar, and Monsieur de Puy, with him who did make him play to me which he did most admirably- so well that I was mightily troubled that all that pains should have been taken upon so bad an instrument."

However, it didn't take Pepys long to fall under the guitar's spell and the Pepys library in Cambridge contains a substantial amount of guitar music, some of it by Pepys himself!

Corbetta lived in London for a few years as part of the King's “Private Music”, playing and teaching the royal brothers as well as other members of the nobility. I've got a feeling that the quick disappearance of the guitar from English musical life during the reign of William and Mary had to do with its association with James (who was a keen amateur of the guitar, whatever his motivations might have been) and Catholicism.

Corbetta also used his royal influence to set up a complicated confidence game called “The Catalan Lottery” and after swindling a number of people he left for Paris under a cloud. Although he was to return to London on several occasions (including a concert in the Whitehall Palace for Charles and the court just a few days before Charles' death), Paris became his main address until his own death in 1681.

It was in Paris that Corbetta published his last two books of music: 'La Guitarre Royalle' in 1671, and [rather confusingly] 'La Guitarre Royalle' in 1674. The first collection is his largest work and the source of most of the music on this recording. It's dedicated to Charles II and is filled with extended suites and complex character pieces, many of them dedicated to members of the English and French nobility. The second 'Guitarre Royalle' is dedicated to Louis XIV and includes some extraordinarily chromatic guitar duets and solos mostly in the strummed style. This was apparently Louis' favourite sort of music:

I had wanted to conform myself to the style of music most pleasing to your Majesty; The most delicate, the most chromatic and the least encumbered.

Louis was evidently a connoisseur of chromatic harmony as the exquisite miniatures in this collection are almost impressionist in their effect, with many strange and unresolved dissonances.

When Corbetta died in 1681 he was widely mourned, poems were published referring to him as 'The Amphion of our Times' and the Mercure Galant rather chauvinistically claimed him for the nation: He finally returned to France to signalize by his death the regret he felt at not having spent all his life there. Guitarists continued to play his music for another 70 years but, perhaps because his music survived only in tablature, the rest of the world forgot him quickly.

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Goldberg
5 Stars
Five star review! (Spanish)
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Gramophone
'WONDERFUL DISC'
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Fanfare
The playing is faultless
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Classical Guitar Magazine
a creative approach to this repertoire
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Classical Guitar Magazine

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Classic FM
4 Stars
Perfect late-evening listening
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BBC Music
his laid-back style is at one with the idiom
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BBC Music Magazine
5 Stars

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Classic FM Magazine
4 Stars
'a unique and treasurable listening'
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Gramophone
Interpretations of spicy and delicate music that prove delectable
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International Record Review
This is one of 2004's real gems
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The Observer
a first solo disc with as much appeal for fans of Eric Clapton as those of John Williams
more >>