Counterpoint played on the lute is one of the most beautiful sounds I have ever heard. The great composers of the 16th century, masters of counterpoint, have long inspired me. It can be intimidating following in their footsteps, and I risked feeling paralyzed for fear of misstepping when composing my own humble contributions to the lute repertoire. I reminded myself that the Renaissance artist was a bold and adventurous individual who took risks, both musical and personal. I hope any errors will be forgiven in light of the bigger picture.
The pieces included in this album can be broadly categorized as contrapuntal fantasies, dances, and grounds. Each work is inspired by music from the period and I have included many subtle and not-so-subtle references for listeners. When writing them, I imagined myself as a well-traveled and long-lived lutenist, so you may hear some pieces that sound Italian from the 1530s and others that sound English from the 1590s. I hope that both new fans of early music and seasoned connoisseurs will enjoy these pieces.
I would like to thank my wife, Meredith Achey, as well as Laura White, Gordon Schuett, Emory Schuett, Michael Achey, Susan Thomas, Patricia Schuett, Kayleen Sánchez, Frank Koonce, Karen Scherr, Mark Scherr, Ashley McIver, and Ryan McIver. In addition, I would like to give a very special thank you to Paul Sánchez, who literally made this album and has been a constant source of support.
For those interested in obtaining the scores, all of the works, save one, will be published by Mel Bay (30967). Boots’ Toye was published by the Lute Society of America in their Quarterly (volume 55, Nos. 1 & 2).
– Laudon Schuett