Nuove Musiche, adapted and arranged by Rolf Lislevand (released on March 7, 2006)
Lutenist Rolf Lislevand selected pieces of music from the late 16th and early 17th centuries, pairing pieces by relative unknowns like Giovanni Kapsberger, Domenico Pellegrini, Alessandro Piccinni, and Bernardo Gianoncelli with a few better-known composers, like Luys de Narváez and Girolamo Frescobaldi. Plucked strings make up most of the group: Arianna Savall on voice and triple harp, Bjørn Kjellemyr on bass, Marco Ambrosini on nyckelharpa, Thor-Harald Johnsen on chitarra battente, and Lislevand on lute, guitar, and theorbo. They are joined by Guido Morini on organ and clavichord and Pedro Estevan on a wide range of shimmering, clacking percussion. What they make of these old pieces -- by coincidence with the Ground production, mostly passacaglias -- is a host of very modern sounds, part New Age, part Wyndham Hill (shudder), part Minimalism, part Iberian folk jazz (as heard on NPR this past spring). Much of the final sound laid down on these 17 tracks is due to improvisation, inspired by a very scholarly examination of the source scores. Although I have had my share of beefs with the crossover phenomenon, I just cannot resist the feathery touch of this suave, understated recording.
ECM New Series 1922