Lute music by J. Johnson & A. Holborne, Brilliant Classics, 2018

„On this new solo disc, his third to date, Yavor Genov, one of the rising players of today, presents music from two composers of the first generation of great English lutenists, John Johnson and his contemporary Anthony Holborne, both servants to Elizabeth I, and active when Dowland was just a boy. A generous programme of 72 minutes gives the first 12 tracks to John Johnson, and the remaining 15 to Anthony Holborne. No fewer than 16 tracks have the Cambridge manuscripts as their source. […]

This is a very enjoyable and accomplished album.  […] The music is well chosen and well programmed, balancing light and shade, sombre and sprightly pieces. In the first half of the programme, dedicated to Johnson, I was particularly gratified to hear two pieces, the Quadro Pavan from Dd.9.33 f.93v and the Passingmeasures Pavan from Dd.2.11 f. 62v which have those lovely rhythmically arpeggeiated broken chords which as far as I know are unique to Johnson (those who play his music will know what I am referring to!) and his livelier moods are further represented by wonderfully lilting ‘Carman’s whistle’, ‘Johnson’s Jewel’, and ‘Gathering of Peascods’ amongst others. We also hear his famous ‘Flat’ and ‘Delight’ pavans and galliards. Holborne is represented by three of his fantasias, a rarity in English lute music (I especially love the one from the Hirsch lute book) and cheerful almains, galliards and corantos, such as ‘Heigh ho Holiday’, ‘Muy Linda’, ‘New Year’s gift’, interleaved with the more sombre pieces such as ‘Countess of Pembroke’s Funerals’, ‘Last Will and Testament’, ‘Heres Paternus’ the programme constantly varying the mood, and ending with some the last, cheerful pieces from Holborne’s own 1599 print. There is much to praise in Yavor Genov’s playing: the counterpoint is clearly brought out, harder passages are executed with ease, and above all the interpretations are well phrased and musical; he meets very well perhaps the greatest challenge of this repertoire, which is to make the divisions in the repeated sections say something; he finds the poetry in them. Some lutenists have the annoying habit of rolling almost every chord, but Genov is willing and able to play chords predominantly together and on the beat, rolling chords only as an effect. […] All in all, a very good recording—we hope for more!“

Christopher Goodwin (British Lute Society, Lutezine, vol. 127, November 2018)


„Once again, Genov’s selection is a judicious one. It includes the meditative and sustained Countess of Pembroke’s funerals […] as well as the effortlessly elegant Heigh ho holiday. Genov’s playing generally sustains an impressive rhythmic vitality, even in the slower tempos, and he evinces an intelligent appreciation of crucial harmonic transitions.

Marcus Tomalin (Early Music, November 2018)


„Orpheus Anglorum, littéralement « Orphée anglais » en hommage à Orphée le Thrace qui possédait, selon la légende, le pouvoir magique de séduire les êtres par son chant et sa poésie. Assurément, cet opus nous séduit, en premier lieu par la richesse des compositions de ces luthistes parmi les plus représentatifs de l’ère élisabéthaine, Johnson et Holborne, et deuxièmement par la qualité de l’interprétation du luthiste, Yavor Genor. […] Le luthiste maintenant, déjà  remarqué dans Kapsberger et Zamboni, Yavor Genov offre une interprétation aérienne et subtile, caractérisée par la délicatesse du trait et la précision du jeu, nous offrant un nouvel éclairage sur cette musique Renaissance souvent considérée, à tort, comme ennuyeuse.
Attention : Pépite !“

Philippe Zanoly, (ClicMusique, March 2018)


„Yavor Genov hat – ich habe es schon erwähnt – sehr an Sensibilität im Umgang mit dieser Musik hinzugewonnen! Er spielt graziler, eleganter und von einer nonchalanten Virtuosität, wie man sie sich für Lautenmusik der großen Zeit in England wünscht. “

Peter Päffgen (Gitarre und Laute, April 2018)


„Genov plays the music quite well. Gathering of Peascods from the Board lute book may be short of ornaments, but Genov instils brightness and jollity. He gives a nicely paced performance of Johnson’s variations on Carman’s Whistle, enlivened with some swift semiquaver divisions“.

Stewart McCoy (Early Music Review, March 2018)

Giovanni Zamboni Romano, Lute music, Brilliant Classics, 2014

„Zamboni’s music is clever an immediately appealing. So is Genov’s playing.“

(American Record Guide, January/February 2015)


„Dopo aver affrontato brillantemente il repertorio del più conosciuto Girolamo Kapsberger (“Libro primo d’intavolatura di lauto” pubblicato nel 2013), il liutista bulgaro Yavor Genov pubblica grazie alla sempre meritoria Brilliant Records e sempre con un prezzo assolutamente abbordabile (intorno ai sette euro) una monografia di composizioni di un autore pressochè sconosciuto ai più, Giovanni Zamboni. Di certo non abbondano le notizie sulla sua biografia: virtuoso del clavicembalo e dei cordofoni (dalla tiorba al liuto, dal mandolino alla chitarra barocca) pare fosse nato e vissuto a Roma a cavallo del 1700 e una delle poche date certe è quella della pubblicazione (Lucca, 1718) delle sue undici Sonate e di una Ciaccona per arciliuto, uno strumento a 14 coppie di corde della cui ideazione si è autoattribuito un altro autore a lui contemporaneo, Alessandro Piccinini. Detto che al tempo di Zamboni le Sonate potevano essere composte per essere eseguite in chiesa (in cinque parti, la prima introduttiva seguita da danze come la Sarabanda, la Giga, la Gavotta o la Courante) oppure in ambiente laico, e queste erano dette “Sonate da camera” (in quattro parti, eseguite in feste private, incontri accademici ed in teatro in apertura o come intervallo fra i tempi dello spettacolo), e detto che Genov ne presenta in totale sette (le numero 1, 3, 5, 8, 9, 10 ed 11) oltre ad una “Ceccona”, resta da rimarcare la purezza del suono e la grande tecnica di questo strumentista bulgaro, che si sta segnalando come uno dei migliori specialisti di questo difficile strumento. Un’esecuzione di primo livello, che oltre a farci assaporare la musica di quel tempo, ci fa scoprire le partiture di uno dei meno conosciuti autori settecenteschi, e questo è un altro grande merito di Yavor Genov. Restiamo in attesa della pubblicazione delle sonate mancanti.“

Allesandro Nobis (Folkbulletin, 2014)

Giovanni Kapsberger, Libro primo di lauto, Brilliant Classics, 2013

“he plays with a good deal of élan and considerable insights. His brisk tempos are well judged….Genov promises to be a force to reckon with in the lute world.”
(International Record Review, June 2013)

„Yavor Genov is […]  is a very good player. The lines are clear. His tone is lovely, and his modest ornamentation stylish. It is charming and well played, so if that is enough to attract you, seek it out.“

(American Record Guide, July/August 2013)


„De nos jours, à la faveur de la renaissance de la musique ancienne et des instruments spécifiques, le monde musical redécouvre ces trésors. Musique intime, musique du coeur, l’oeuvre de Kapsberger révèle

tout son caractère, son essence, dans le dialogue sincère entre le musicien et son auditoire. Tout artifice y serait un faux pas impardonnable qui l’anéantirait de suite.

Yavor Genov a su se rendre maître de cette oeuvre et nous la fait découvrir avec une rare authenticité.

L’émotion est au rendez-vous, c’est évident, mais le rêve, la surprise s’invitent également au fil des plages pour tenir compagnie à l’auditeur.“

(Pizzicato, 4/2013)

anthology 1

Awake sweet love / Anthonolgy of lute music / Brilliant Classics

Georg Phillip Telemann / Erik Bosgraaf and ensemble Cordevento /

The Double Concertos with Recorder / Brilliant Classics 2016

Georg Phillip Telemann / Erik Bosgraaf and ensemble Cordevento / Complete Concertos and Suites for Recorder / Brilliant Classics 2016

Henry Purcell / musicAeterna / Teodor Currentzis /

Indian Queen / Sony Classical 2016

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart / musicAeterna / Teodor Currentzis / 

Don Giovanni / Sony Classical 2016

Antonio Vivaldi / Erik Bosgraaf and ensemble Cordevento / 

The four Seasons / Brilliant Classics 2014