Reusner: Delitiae Testudinis Vol 1 / Paul Beier

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REUSNER Delitiæ Testudinis, Vol. 1 • Paul Beier (lt) • STRADIVARIUS 33867 (78:47) Esaias Reusner (1636–79) was taught the lute by his father, became familiar...


REUSNER Delitiæ Testudinis, Vol. 1 Paul Beier (lt) STRADIVARIUS 33867 (78:47)


Esaias Reusner (1636–79) was taught the lute by his father, became familiar with the published music of such modern masters as Francois Dufault and Ennemond Gaultier, then was influenced by and studied under an unknown lutenist while a valet at the Polish court of Princess Radziwi??. He published two collections of lute suites in the then very popular French style that were very successful, and soon had a pronounced effect on other, similar compositions in the German States. His pieces—naturally contrapuntal, rich in passing dissonances, and prone to the expressive extremes then popular in this kind of intimate music-making—are uniformly attractive. The pavanes and sarabandes in particular revel in an eloquently lyrical melancholy.


Beier’s technique is good, but not perfect. The occasional glanced note—different in dynamics, resonance, and duration from all others around it—interferes with the musical line and his musical insight. Once you get past this, it’s easy to appreciate the fine degree of shading in the Couranta of the Suite No. 4, and the general warmth of tone, but the playing isn’t immaculate. These are stylistically strong performances by a fine lutenist, with the caveat that wrong notes do mar the surface.


The lute on this album is closely miked, but with a pleasantly dry ambiance that keeps textures clean and allows the instrument to sound for itself without any unneeded help from the environment. Beier’s own liner notes are excellent in discussing the influences at work on Reusner, and the disc is an unusually full one. Perhaps best of all, this is only Volume 1—meaning we can look forward to more of the Delitiæ Testudinis in the future. Barring slips of the fingers, this one’s definitely recommended.


FANFARE: Barry Brenesal


Product Description:


  • Release Date: April 01, 2011


  • UPC: 8011570338679


  • Catalog Number: STR33867


  • Label: Stradivarius


  • Number of Discs: 1


  • Composer: Esaias Reusner


  • Performer: Paul Beier