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Week of June 27, 2011

A brand-new release by Washington’s own Bach Sinfonia features the talents of lutenist Ronn McFarlane. 

The Art of Vivaldi’s Lute | WETA

The title of this recording, and the presence of renowned lutenist Ronn McFarlane, might lead one to believe that this relatively rare instrument is always front and center in this all-Vivaldi release.  However, the collegial musicality of all the musicians shines through in each selection. 

Along with two concertos and two trios that especially feature the lute, there are two sinfonie, and a motet for soprano and strings.  Equally pleasing is the music scholarship of director Daniel Abraham, as articulate and engaging in his role as program annotator as he is when directing the ensemble.

Unusual here is the choice to omit the continuo harpsichord in favor of theorbo, Baroque guitar and the lute itself.  This somewhat more gentle-sounding base of operations is perfectly suited to the focus on the lute as a solo instrument. 

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