The Lutezine · The Lute Society (UK)

«This is a performance that commands attention throughout. Clearly Daniel Zapico is a master of his instrument where, at times, his sonority and style are reminiscent of the best of classical guitar. Technically very proficient he has an excellent understanding of sonority, composition and fluid ornamentation, with sensitive, subtle use of vibrato, and variation of volume, the latter possibly involving right-hand position. In his sleeve notes he describes his approach as ‘transcription by adding, with all due respect, new pages to this exquisite book’ thus permitting himself discreet addition of his own variations in an appropriate style. Often this is so seamless that I’m left asking myself where does the source end and Zapico begin? His fine theorbo, by Jaume Bosser, has an excellent dynamic range and a good balance of harmonics and both are ably served by the recording engineer. The disc includes a few transcriptions of pieces for keyboard, and a few for viol while the majority derive from the Vaudry de Saizenay manuscripts for lute and theorbo. I’ll be brief and just comment on some of the tracks.

The ‘Pastouralle’ (track 8) could easily be for Spanish guitar if it weren’t for the basses. ‘Les Sylvains’, (track 10) contains some minor surprises, possibly by reference to the keyboard original. The Bourée—‘Une Jeune Filette’—which I could just about recognise, as derived from ‘la Monica’, has a nice set of variations and finally the Chaconne (track 15) in style and ornament has a strong flavour of baroque guitar. Here Zapico lets the three-beat rhythm develop from an almost amorphous beginning into a performance with compelling drive, finishing with a virtuoso cascade of triplets. Some of his transcriptions, such as ‘Ma Bergère est tendre et fidelle’ (track 4) and ‘Plainte sur le Mort de Monsieur Lambert’ (track 14), seem strongly vocal while others such as ‘La Couperin’ (track 1) and ‘Le Carillon de Passy’ (track 9) retain much of their origins as pieces for viol.

This disc comes with intriguing packaging. A sturdy CD sized box about 2cm deep promised something like bespoke chocolates. Rather than in the customary booklet, notes are provided on a, possibly not as robust, double sided 45cm x 48cm sheet. But you will enjoy the contents.»

The Lutezine · The Lute Society
Eric Franklin | Julio 2021