Academic journal article Notes

DeLirium: Concerto, Notturno per Lire Organizzate; Divertimenti per Baryton

Academic journal article Notes

DeLirium: Concerto, Notturno per Lire Organizzate; Divertimenti per Baryton

Article excerpt

Franz Joseph Haydn. DeLirium: Concerto, notturno per lire organizzate; Divertimenti per baryton. Christopher Coin; Ensemble Baroque de Limoges; Quatuor Mosaïques. Laborie LC03, 2006.

The lira organizzata is a strange and rather fascinating instrument, a hybrid created by blending the function and design of an organ with those of a hurdy-gurdy. The latter is a bowed stringed instrument in which the strings are vibrated by means of a rosined wheel, which is turned by a hand crank; the player uses external keys to stop the strings at different pitches. The hurdy-gurdy has been a mainstay of vernacular European music since the Middle Ages, but for various reasons-not least of them its often raucous tone and difficulties of tuning and temperament-it has never found much of a place in the art music tradition. However, three composers of the classical period ( Joseph Haydn, Ignaz Pleyel, and Vincenzo Orgitano) are known to have written works for the lira organizzata, and two by Haydn are included on this wonderful disc: a concerto (Hob. VIIh:1) and nocturne (Hob. II:32) both featuring two liri organizzati. Continuing in the spirit of compositions for unusual instruments, this disc also offers two octets (Hob. …

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