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La Guitarre Royalle - The Observer

21 October 2004
The Observer
Anthony Holden

When a fifth string was added to the Renaissance guitar in the 1580s, it started a guitar craze that swept through Europe for more than a century, with stable boys and wandering minstrels joining regal fingers in strumming their way through all sorts of chord patterns of increasing complexity. King of the quality composers for the instrument was Francesco Corbetta (c.1615-1681), whose minuets, gigues and chaconnes combine tender lyricism with elegant refinement. William Carter of the Palladian Ensemble performs them here with great agility and eloquence, on a first solo disc with as much appeal for fans of Eric Clapton as those of John Williams.

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