Report of the 33rd Meeting: 7 March, 2020

In the absence of Rob MacKillop, Bill Samson was ‘master of ceremonies’.
We had a turnout of eight, four of them new faces to SLEGS. After introducing ourselves we got down to some music making.
First up was Stuart McLuckie, playing his Paulo Busato 11c baroque lute.  He played an anonymous French piece “Le Gris de Lin”, a charming Minuet by S.L. Weiss and an anonymous ‘Lesson’ arranged by Linda Sayce.  Stuart’s playing was assured and fluent and the pieces were well interpreted.
Bill Samson took the floor next with his most recent self-made guitar, strung with gut trebles and Aquila Ambra 900 basses.  This year marks the 250th anniversary of the birth of the great Italian/French composer Ferdinando Carulli.  Bill played three pieces by Carulli; starting off with a Waltz, then  an Andantino.  Bill spoke about the use ‘notes inegales’ in the baroque era and evidence for their survival into the 20th century.  Miguel Llobet recorded Sor’s B-minor study in 1925 and played in an inegale style.  On the basis of this evidence Bill played an etude by Carulli using inegales for the ubiquitous arpeggios.  It brought a smile to some faces! (particularly when Bill’s phone rang during the performance!)
The last player was Chris Jupp, playing his 6c lute by Luke Emmet.  Chris spoke about the difference between the 6c lute and later renaissance lutes, particularly the musical effect of octave stringing on the 6th, 5th and 4th courses. Chris tries always to play unfamiliar repertoire and I suspect none of us were familiar with the three pieces he played.  First he played a beautifully melancholy intabulation of Josquin’s “Adieu mes Amours”, by Hans Neusidler.  Next came a fantasia by Rafaele Viola from the Phalese book (1571).  This is one of only two surviving pieces by the composer.  It   was very well performed despite some tricky passages in the upper register.  Finally he played Hans Neusidler’s intabulation of Heinrich Isaac’s Benedictus – a stunningly contrapuntal piece in which Chris did a fine job of bringing out the separate voices.
After this shorter-than-usual playing session, there was a good deal of chat and swapping of instruments and information.

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