San Francisco Chronicle
Sunday, December 1, 2002
This is essentially small, intimate music, so perhaps it is best not to make too much of it. Still, there is something seductive about these little lute pieces by Pierre Attaingnant (1494-1552), a contemporary of Rabelais who obviously shared that immortal author's excitement over being part of an age when the sheer joys of being human were about to be rediscovered. From his cramped printing shop in the Left Bank, not far from the Sorbonne, Attaignant produced quiet yet extraordinary music for the lute. Hopkinson Smith, without doubt the finest lute player in the world today, here follows his explorations of Iberian lute music with this revealing glimpse at the sounds of the Paris of Rabelais. It is a delicious recording.