Garden of Early Delights - Pamela Thorby & Andrew Lawrence-King - Fanfare
Pamela Thorby has been recording for Linn for most of the label's existence, both as ensemble player and soloist. This time she joins Andrew Lawrence-King (except for a few unaccompanied pieces) in a varied program of music of the 16th and 17th centuries. In his notes, the harpist has an explanation for the disc title in the literary use of the garden as a place of earthly delights (Hieronymus Bosch's allusion) where lovemaking is accompanied by recorders and plucked strings. His essay lucidly explains some of the terminology too often taken for granted in music of this period. Diego Ortiz, in Trattado de glosas of 1553, illustrated three ways of playing music on instruments; hence the program uses three of his examples at the beginning, middle, and end of this program. Some of these pieces are adapted from earlier composers, such as Bassano after Lassus and Van Eyck after Caccini, while others are original. There is enough variation of mood and style to sustain interest. Thorby is a thoroughly accomplished player, using soprano, alto, and tenor instruments, while Lawrence-King, who uses double harp and trip harp (one track employs a psaltery), has five solo tracks. This is an offbeat disc that will hardly duplicate anything in your collection.