This superb recital could as easily have been entitled “Jakobean” Lute Music, so complete is London-based Swedish lutenist Jakob Lindberg’s mastery of this music. Equally at home in the Spanish, Italian and Germanic lute repertoire – his Weiss is particularly fine – he has for some decades been one of the foremost interpreters of the Elizabethan and Jacobean lute repertoire. Only Paul O’Dette comes close to matching Lindberg’s combination of stylistic flair and technical ability. One need only compare their respective interpretations of the music of Daniel Bacheler: both players capture to perfection the insouciance of the virtuosic sets of variations and the profundity of the slower pavans and preludes.
By the time James I became king in 1603 the lute was well established as the courtly instrument par excellence, and composer/performers of quality and imagination were legion. Apart from Bacheler there was Thomas Robinson, Cuthbert Hely, Robert Johnson, Jacques Gaultier, and the great John Dowland.
Together with that most prolific of composers, anon, all the above are represented by typical dance movements such as the pavan, galliard, gigue, courante and sarabande, as well as improvisatory preludes and sets of variations on popular tunes. Performing on his restored Sixtus Rawolf lute from c.1590, Lindberg effortlessly creates not so much a snapshot but an arras of the most exquisite autumnal colours.