?The King's Teacher?
is collection of suites by French Baroque composer Robert de Visée
(Louis XIV's guitar teacher), elegantly performed by Eduardo Egüez on
lute, theorbo and baroque guitar. Hopefully this will be delightful listening
for those who have heard Eduardo's two J.S. Bach recordings on MA. Robert
De Visée, a renown guitarist and composer during the Baroque era, left
a multitude of works for the lute, theorbo, and guitar; far more than J. S.
Bach composed for those same instruments. Even though the sample is short
on the MA site, we hope you can somehow get a feel for the beauty of this
For the cover, we though
it would be nice to use an image of a flower. And, in our endeavors to find
something we felt would work, we discovered that the Magnolia was named after
the famous French Botanist Pierre Magnol, a contemporary of Robert de Visée.
Fortunately, we were able to use a beautiful Magnolia photo by Italian photographer
Franco Pupulin (Another of his amazing photos was used for the cover of Buenos
?The King's Teacher?
was recorded in November, 2002 with MA's own custom made, line level mikes,
at 176.4 kHz on a Fostex DVD-RAM recording machine. The location was the same
church that the J.S. Bach recordings were produced in, the Cathedral of the
Convento Dell'Annunziata, Rovato, in the Brescia region of Italia.
P R E S S R E V I E W
Robert de Visee - Le Maitre du Roy: The King's Teacher
Eduardo Eguez, guitar, lute, and theorbo
M A Recordings M064A
by John Crossett
Musical Performance: *** 1/2
Recording Quality: ****
Overall Enjoyment: ****
Robert de Visee is something of a mystery man. No known portrait or birth certificate has ever been unearthed, and no inventory of his belongings taken after his death exists. It is now generally believed he was born around 1650 and died somewhere between 1725 and 1732. The only facts we do know for sure are that he was introduced to the French court very early in his musical career and served there, in various respectable positions, until his passing.
What is not in dispute is his ability as a composer. During his lifetime he published three volumes on guitar tablature -- two of which have been found. There is a delicate beauty to de Visee's compositions, a precise yet improvisational quality that seems to invite the listener to listen as closely as possible. On this disc, Eduardo Eguez, playing solo guitar, lute or theorbo, makes his initial foray into de Visee's music.
This is a beautifully packaged disc. The liner notes go a long way toward explaining de Visee's work, as well as Eguez's insights to them. MA head Todd Garfinkle used a single point-source mike, a high sampling rate (96kHz), and glass mastering to create a sonically wonderful re-creation of this forgotten master's works. The sound of fingers on strings, those strings vibrating, and those vibrations exciting the wooden cavity of the instrument are all clearly reproduced.
Le Maitre du Roy: The King's Teacher is a demo-quality disc of excellent music. If your tastes run toward well-recorded acoustic music, it would be foolish indeed to pass up this CD.