This is compensated for by having just the one performer, whose special project this is. Some tracks run for less than a minute, so you have to be quick to register whether you have just rushed through an adaptation of something by, say, Clément Janequin, or have already done that and are now back in the Ricercars with the main man here, Marco dall’Aquila.
It was hard even for Harmonia Mundi to get everything into the booklet, which, with all the usual translations, is too big for its slot in the handsome digipak. No trimming of margins here. The dedicated and artful O’Dette has chosen as many solo works as he can fit onto one CD, from the music of a specific period when the lute was a key part of the instrumentation of the age. His sound is echoey, bearing sympathetic resonances that do not last long, but are there all the time, usually for longer than the individual pluckings. This texture of sound does have rather a monotonous effect by the time you get about a third of the way through, unless you are a confirmed lute-o-phile.
You need to be a specialist to pick out all the subtleties of the music performed here, but the music itself is tuneful enough, with plenty to admire about hearing a virtuoso, as O’Dette clearly is, in full flight, whatever the instrument and period of music.