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Friday Night Organ NOT this week! Tonight we have German Renaissance LUTE!
Hans Neusidler (1508 – 1563), was an expert lute player and composer, born in Pressburg which in modern parlance is Bratislava, Slovakia. The first the historical record of Neusidler appears in 1530, when he settled in Nuremberg, Germany. He was issued a residence permit by the city council in February and married there in September. In April 1531, he became a citizen and soon after bought a house on the Zotenberg. He taught lute there in the 1530s, publishing eight books of lute music between 1536 and 1549, and also went into business as a lute maker by 1550. He fathered thirteen children with his first wife, which resulted in his having enormous financial troubles; he eventually sold his house to pay his debts. (KIDS! They cost a fortune in any century;think about it 13 kids in 26 years of marriage). In January 1556, his wife died, and he remarried five months later; his second wife bore him four more children before her death in August 1562. Neusidler died in Nuremberg.
Neusidler, was one of the most important early German lutenists. His eight publications feature intabulations of German songs, French chansons, Italian madrigals, dance pieces, and improvisatory preludes. Most of the works are in three parts, but there are two-part pieces for beginners and a few four-part arrangements in two of his publications. He republished popular works with newer arrangements in his later books. The initial 1536 publication, which was a beginner's collection, opens with a written introduction to lute playing which gives insight into contemporaneous performance practice.
A somewhat infamous piece is Der Juden Tanz, often cited as an example of bitonality or "not lacking a touch of satire". Thats right the "Jew Dance"--where is THX when we need him? It was first transcribed in Denkmäler der Tonkunst in Österreich and appears in Davison & Apel's Historical Anthology of Music as a melody in a sort of diminished D♯ accompanied by an E/B drone. Apel gives a facsimile of the tablature in The Notation of Polyphonic Music that includes Neusidler's instructions, but he interprets "die Obrer quint saitten muß man dem t gleich ziehen" (with the "fifth" string being the chanterelle and "t" the lowest drone) as requiring the tuning G-d-d-a-d-'f'♯. If instead the outer strings are tuned to the same pitch the piece sounds rather more typical of the rest of Neusidler's work. His music is pretty good and remember the German word Tanz means dance; so this is largely “pop” music of the day. I have to be honest, Charles Mouton whom I featured some time back is hands down still the master of the Lute. (And you can go back and listen for yourselves). On to the music!
Here is the Judentantz mentioned above:
And Wascha Mesa: (not played with lute but guitar instead.)
This is his Nunnentanz, which is played with a combination of Lute and Renaissance bagpipe.
“Ein guter Gassenhauer”
Here is a guy out in a desert somewhere playing “Hapfauf” on a guitar.
We'll finish up with a short little work called “Dutch Dance” again on guitar.
"Hapfauf" is my favorite Neusidler piece so far, thoiugh, I have no idea what the word "Hapfauf" might mean.
The performance of "Judentantz" and "Wascha Mesa" (again, do not ask me what "Wascha Mesa" is supposed to mean) I found to be somewhat lacking, at the more difficult parts the timing of the players seems to be a little off, what unfortunately makes these two pieces sound more clunky than (I think) the composer had them in mind.
Since when are nuns dancing? Aren´t they supposed to pray and work (ora et labora)? The title of that song sounds suspicious in the ears of the inquisitor...
I had no idea that the word "Gassenhauer" at least dates back into the 16th century, today, I think, we would say "smash-hit", instead.
Having 17 children in such a short period of time? Holy Jeebus on the cross! That is stuff to get grey hairs over! Which reminds me of another song:
Excuse me, while I go to listen to Charles Mouton.
This site has been a scam from the start. I am outta here.