Nicholas Lanier - A Drop of Amber Varnish
Lucie Skeaping presents highlights of a concert from the York Early Music Festival, exploring the life and work of singer, lutenist, composer and art connoisseur Nicholas Lanier.
Lucie Skeaping presents highlights of a concert recorded at this year's York Early Music Festival, given by tenor Nicholas Mulroy, harpist Frances Kelly and lutenist Paula Chateauneuf. The concert explores the life and music of Nicholas Lanier - "a very ingenious vertuoso". Lanier was appointed the first ever Master of the King's Musick in 1625, but he was also an art connoisseur, sent by Charles I to Italy to buy paintings and recruit Italian artists for the English court. He returned not only with knowledge of the latest developments in Italian music, but having met and befriended the brilliant Artemisia Gentileschi, the first ever professional woman painter. She also revealed to him how she achieved the unique luminosity in her paintings: a mixture of walnut oil and a single drop of amber varnish - a substance also used to coat the bodies of lutes at that time.