The 1540 “Tablature of Jan de Lubin” is one of the largest collections of 16th Century keyboard music. It’s possible that a good portion of it was written, transcribed, and/or arranged by Johann de Lublin. The bound collection includes many other pieces that added after the fact (and possibly after de Lublin’s death).

Corina Marti sorts through it all, presenting a well-balanced selection of thirty-nine works from the book. Marti plays a Renaissance harpsichord, which has a substantially different sound than its Baroque descendant. The range is smaller, and the sound much more robust. There’s a roughness to the instrument that goes quite well with the modal harmonies of the music. (Not the best description, but that’s my reaction to it.)

The album includes works from a variety of sources. There are settings of music by Antoine Brumel, Josquin des Prez, and Ludwig Senfl, just to name a few. Music from French, Italian and German sources are included, but to me, the most interesting pieces are the Polish ones. There’s a folk-like vitality to these pieces that make them especially appealing.

If you’re at all interested in early music, this disc should be in your library. It’s a nice complement to other historic collections, such as the Fitzwilliam Virginal Book. A thoughtful program of historically important music well-performed — of course I recommend it.

Johannes de Lublin: Tablature
Keyboard music from Renaissance Poland
Corina Marti, Renaissance harpsichord
Brilliant Classics 95556