Friday, October 23, 2009

Pan Cogito's "Believe It Or Not"

"Jakob Lindberg performs on a ten-course Renaissance lute by Sixtus Rauwolf, who was active in Augsburg in the 1590s. Only four other lutes by Rauwolf are known to have survived. These can be found in Metropolitan Museum in New York, the Claudius Collection in Copenhagen, a private collection in England, and the Fugger Museum in Augsburg. Jakob Lindberg’s instrument is from circa 1590 and has been carefully restored. Dendrochronology (a method of dating wooden objects which involves examining the tree-rings) confirms that the soundboard is original and dates the wood to 1418 – 1560. This instrument is probably the oldest lute in playable condition with its original soundboard."

Emma Kirby, Jakob Lindberg, and the National Gallery of Art, Washington, Celebrate the 350th Birthday of Henry Purcell, Baroque Master Artist

Sunday October 25, 2009 at 6:30 pm at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
Free -- First come, first seated.

Image credit: (c) BIS Recordings. Copyright controlled.


"We once had a glorious school of composers. It departed, with no sunset splendour on it, nor even the comfortable ripe tints of autumn. The sun of the young morning shone on its close; the dews of dawn gleam for ever on the last music; the freshness and purity of the air of early morning linger about it. It closed with Purcell, and it is no hyperbole to say the note that distinguishes Purcell's music from all other music in the world is the note of spring freshness. The dewy sweetness of the morning
air is in it, and the fragrance of spring flowers. The brown sheets on which the notes are printed have lain amongst the dust for a couple of centuries; they are musty and mildewed. Set the sheets on a piano and play: the music starts to life in full youthful vigour, as music from the soul of a young god should. It cannot and never will grow old; the everlasting life is in it that makes the green buds shoot. To realise the immortal youth of Purcell's music, let us make a comparison. Consider Mozart, divine Mozart. Mixed with the ineffable beauty of his music there is sadness, apart and different from the sadness that was of the man's own soul. It is the sadness that clings to forlorn things of an order that is dead and past: it tinkles in the harpsichord figurations and cadences; it makes one think of lavender scent and of the days when our great-grandmothers danced minuets. Purcell's music, too, is sad at times, but the human note reaches us blended with the gaiety of robust health and the clean young life that is renewed each year with the lengthening days."

Purcell by John F. Runciman (1909), from Project Gutenberg


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