Gordon Ferries, La Royalle (Delphian)

When Charles II arrived from France to assume the English throne, he brought with him a fascination for guitar music bordering on obsession. Before long, playing the guitar became a vital element in social advancement: "God knows what an universal strumming there was," observed one contemporary observer, his sourness perhaps coloured by having to hear amateurs play badly. But at its most skilfull, as in these renditions on period instruments by Gordon Ferries of pieces by (mostly French) court composers, there is an elegance and poise that both soothes and satisfies, be it Robert de Visée's pensive allemande "La Royalle", or Charles Hurel's "Suite in C major", at once melancholy yet upliftingly light and nimble.

Download: Suite in C major; La Royalle; Fantasie des Grues