William Carter - Esaias Reusner: Delitiae testudinis - The Lute Society

Esaias Reusner the Younger has a special place in the history of music as the first composer to publish baroque suites that included the standard movements of Allemande, Courante, Sarabande and Gigue. His first publication, in 1667, was a set of 15 suites and a courante, 83 pieces in total, entitled Delitiae Testudinis. This collection is the subject of Willam Carter’s latest CD, which contains 20 pieces from the print. 

Reusner’s music is a fascinating amalgam of French baroque elegance coupled with a grittier nod towards the first quarter of the century: you can hear echoes of Robert Johnson and Mesangeau in the sequences of dissonant suspensions and the sometimes jerky, irregular rhythms. 

Carter has put in the time necessary to make sense of the dense textures and rhythmic quirks and it all sounds supremely musical, helped by the sweetness and resonance of his lute. This is a copy, by Klaus Jacobsen, of Jakob Lindberg’s famous original Rauwolf lute. They sound like members of the same family, a testament to the accuracy of the reconstruction.

Carter’s playing has great delicacy and finesse and the recording is clear and resonant. Highly recommended.

The Lute Society
01 August 2022