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Catherine Moore
American Record Guide, November 2017

This fine program of Andrea Antico’s 16th-Century keyboard intabulations of contemporary vocal frottolas (popular secular songs) is made even better because of the choice of instruments. Maria Luisa Baldassari uses five here: organ and harpsichord; the less familiar spinetta and clavichord, and the even less familiar clavisimbalum. Together they supply the player with a sizable range of sounds. In two instruments—the very soft clavichord and the delicate yet piquant clavisimbalum that sounds rather like a hammered dulcimer—strings are struck not plucked, and the spinetta has iron strings which sound quite different from the brass strings on the harpsichord.

It’s one thing to choose a variety of instruments and quite another to have the musical skill and judgement to play each to its best advantage. Maria Luisa Baldassari is expert in the technical subtleties of articulation, tempo, singing legato lines, leading the listener through contrapuntal lines, and other means to bring these pieces to life. She selects music to match the instruments and follows the less-is-more rule by only sparingly using the more distinctive sounding clavichord and clavisimbalum. © 2017 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide



Jerobear
Review Corner, October 2017

Organist and harpsichordist Maria Luisa Baldassari plays original period instruments: the spinetta, the spinetta Harpsichord, clavichord, the rare and archaic clavisimbalum, and a 1533 Vincenzo Colombi organ. © 2017 Review Corner Read complete review



Gary Higginson
MusicWeb International, September 2017

What makes this CD particularly attractive is the fact that these twenty-nine pieces are played on five different instruments rather randomly placed across the listening time.

I found myself greatly admiring the way that Maria Baldassari has a consistent approach with each and an even toned quality and balance across the two recording dates. © 2017 MusicWeb International Read complete review




Blair Sanderson
AllMusic.com, September 2017

Baldassari has edited this collection and her program offers a variety of lively dances, such as the opening Che farala, che dirala, and Dolce ire, dolce sdegni, yet some of the pieces show melancholy and poignant aspects, as in Per dolor mi bagno el viso, Gentil donna se in voi, and Amor quando fioriva mia speme. The choice of instrument also determines the character of the music, so Baldassari’s performances on a period organ may seem more cerebral and austere than they do on the intimate harpsichord. However, the changing moods and instrumentation keep the music fresh and intriguing, and Baldassari brings spirit and clarity to her performances. © 2017 Allmusic.com Read complete review





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