Israel Golani: In the Garden of Polyphony

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  1. Anon. (Uppsala Ms. 412): Premier branle d'Escosse Israel Golani 2:24
  2. Adrian Le Roy: Pimontoyse Israel Golani 1:33
  3. Guillaume Morlaye: Pleurez mes yeux (Sandrin) Israel Golani 2:53
  4. Pierre Phalèse: Ung gay bergier Israel Golani 2:18
  5. Pierre Attaingnant: Fortune laisse moy Israel Golani 1:38

Planet Hugill | Robert Hugill – November 2021
“A lovely exploration of the 16th-century French penchant for lute music, notably transcriptions of polyphonic vocal music, by turns dazzling and engaging”

In the 16th century, the lute ignited the same passion as the electric guitar in the 1970s. On his sophomore album, acclaimed lutist and guitarist Israel Golani returns to the renaissance to perform the greatest works ever written for his instruments, stretching his virtuosity and making the lute sing. To achieve this goal, he questioned and refined his technique, studying with guitarist Frank Bungarten and working on some of these pieces for years.

In the Garden of Polyphony places the listener at the cusp of a momentuous development: The integration of harmony into clerical and courtly composition, the fusing of the sacred and the profane, the ascent of the lute as the leading instrument.

All around Europe, demand for sheet music rose and composers began to seek inspiration in chansons and folk music, in a sense crossing over into pop territory. By treating the material with utmost finesse, they created a new kind of music – both elaborate and accessible, complex and contagious, intellectually stimulating and an invitation to dance.

For Golani, the album is, most of all, a testimony to his two loves: of the human voice on the one hand and for the lute on the other hand. It is telling that the initially planned album title was to be “Le luth qui chante” – “The lute that sings”. It is a high ambition for sure. But he has come pretty close to achieving it on this occasion.

In the Garden of Polyphony comes as a deluxe box set, including a slipcase and 56-page booklet including essays, images and lyrics.

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1 review for Israel Golani: In the Garden of Polyphony

  1. Rated 5 out of 5

    Florian Just

    This is going to be one of my favourite CDs in my collection. So much music has been performed, recorded and listened to during the centuries but this music and how exquisite it’s performed stands out of the ordinary. It’s recorded as if to dive into the lute, floating through the depth of sounds of this delicate and beautiful instrument. You could consider a good book, candle light and wine as accompaniment but soon your focus will drift away purely to the music

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