For a record producer the arrival of a new artiste is always an event, but some encounters are really heart-warming and make you bubble with enthusiasm. Such is this burgeoning collaboration with Accordone and its two stalwarts, the singer and actor Marco Beasley and his partner for more than twenty years, the harpsichordist, organist and composer, Guido Morini. Three discs are already on the programme and Frottole, this first opus of Accordone for Cypres, is a pure delight.
Frottole are “little musical miniatures that sing of human passion with nobility and restraint”. They first appeared at the turn of the fifteenth century in the courts of Lombardy (Mantua, Venice, Verona, etc.). Reacting against the highly elaborate counterpoint of the ‘chanson française’, a good many Italian composers were to produce such frottole for solo voice and lute, their simple melodic line facilitating performance and popularity. The lute was the king of instruments at the time, and the most experienced musicians, who were often both composer and singer, were generally accompanied by a duet of lutes, the tenor lutist (tenorista) dealing with the elaboration of the counterpoint, which was often improvised. One finds traces of a yet more developed form, the lute quartet, in which the main part is played by a lute with plectrum. The cornett was also widely used in more elaborate performances of frottole. As for the texts, though the frottola is often linked to popular tradition, some set verses by Petrarch, Michelangelo and the great court poets.
Yet such is their expressive power, these frottole go straight to the heart. Accordone has chosen for this homage a broad range of pieces, from the simplest to the most sophisticated. Not for a second are you bored: each frottola is different, each has its own musical character and each carries its own emotion. Marco Beasley, as is well known, has that unique voice, fresh, ethereal, luminous, of astonishing smoothness and with a timbre of incredible purity. Alone or accompanied by a veritable carpet of lutes, it is voluptuous, rich, and of formidable precision, and with the cornett of Bruce Dickey, what a feast!
Rediscover a Marco Beasley in grand form for this first collaboration. We invite you to share a dream with us. You will in no way regret it!