Méditation. Les quatre saisons du luth, the latest recording of lutenist Simone Vallerotonda, is a complex album consisting of four suites, each associated with a different tonality and season. The suites are associated with the four moods of the spirit, each of which is united with the four essential elements of the humors and seasons: winter – melancholic (earth) in A minor; summer – choleric (fire) in G minor; autumn – phlegmatic (water) in D minor; spring – sanguine (air) in A major/minor.
To conclude, a eucrasia, a “good mixture” of the four temperaments, a piece by François Couperin. The composers chosen by Vallerotonda to build this 17th-century fresco are the French composers Charles Mouton, Jacques Gallot, Robert de Visée and Valentin Strobel, among the most famous and accomplished composers of music for the lute.
In 17th-century culture, the motions of the soul could be emphasized or reflected by musical modes, as some of the works of Jesuit Athanasius Kircher testify. Indeed, listening to the pieces, performed with the precise and fluent style of Simone Vallerotonda, we can glean at least an idea of this interplay between motions of the soul and music.