Peter Croton
lutenist - guitarist

lutenist - guitarist - songwriter


Carpe Diem CD-16300

Music by:
Francesco Spinacino & Fancesco da Milano


The physical and digital CD is available for purchase on the Carpe Diem site,where the following description can be found

"The famous Swiss-American lute player Peter Croton plays on his Carpe Diem debut a collection of recercares and fantasias by the two Italian lutenist-composers Francesco Spinacino & Francesco da Milano. The 15th century saw the lute emerge as a solo instrument, and the terms ricercar and fantasia were used for works created without preexisting models. The ability to improvise was apparently as widespread then as it is in jazz today. Peter Croton, also known for his contemporary and jazz-related musical projects, explores this beautiful musical world with the heart of a true improvisor, free of limiting preconceptions and sparkling with creativity."


Francesco Spinacino: Ricercar no 25

Francesco Spinacino: Ricercar no 36

Francesco da Milano: Ricercar no 84 & 40




Laurence Vittes, April 25, 2014

"Not surprisingly Croton, who is also known for his contemporary and jazz-related musical projects, explores this beautiful musical world with the heart of a true improviser, sparkling with creativity"

Bernhard Morbach
Original auf Deutsch

"The lutenist Peter Croton pulls off an absolutely ideal recording of the works of two ‘Renaissance-stars’...

Compared with similar recordings by Paul O’Dette, Hopkinson Smith, Jacob Lindberg, Lutz Kirchhhof or Ronn McFarlane (to name only a few stars of the current lute-scene), the present CD deserves the very top ranking. Here everything harmonizes ideally: the virtuosity and taste of the performer, the instrument, its intonation and the room in which the recording was made... Peter Croton plays the music with the greatest possible clarity. Lute-specific ornaments (e.g. the arpeggio) are used relatively sparsely. It seems to me that this serves to heighten the music’s intensity of expression...

"One cannot play Francesco da Milano more convincingly than does Peter Croton."

Ulrich Hermann, February 10, 2014
original auf Deutsch

"This centuries-old yet quite 'modern' sounding music will be a revelation for anyone having the leisure to give it a listen."

LUTE NEWS, No. 109, April 2014
Chris Goodwin, full review

"The intent here is not merely to illustrate music history; Croton's disc offers nothing short of a masterclass in 
interpreting two related but contrasting composers... 
(in the Spinacino recercares) his interpretations are both rhapsodic and rhetorical . I for one found his interpretations both convincing and engaging...
(in da Milano)  individual voices are brought out with impressive clarity. His interpretations are thoughtful, expressive, and somewhat rhetorical, with varied articulation, dynamics, and some use of rubato... Here is a CD then, not just to enjoy, but to study and discuss in the pub with other lute players!

Original auf Deutsch

"The Swiss-American Peter Croton has for many years been among the most well-known lutenists and guitarists in the field of early music. He teaches lute, guitar, figured-bass on the guitar and historical performance practice renowned Schola Cantorum Basiliensis and at other conservatories of music, appears often in concert (including with Theresia Bothe) and has made numerous recordings, including those of his own compositions.

His new CD, The Two Francescos, is also his debut on Carpe Diem Records... The selection of pieces is very good and coherent, and one immediately notices the great experience Peter Croton has concert and CD programming. He unveils a grand arc of masterfully played works and brings them to life with great flair. As may be expected the pieces are played in a technically brilliant manner, but the real strength of the recording lies in the rare vitality which Peter Croton breathes into them. His interpretations are beyond reproach and are characterized by a fascinating clarity, which further enhances the listening experience. The brilliant sound, captured by producer Jonas Niederstadt in Beinwil Switzerland, contributes to the overall effect.

 The Two Francescos belong in every good CD collection of lute music. Peter Croton plays at the highest level and has found in Carpe Diem Records an ideal partner. Highly recommended!"

 Rating: 20 out of 20 (high achievement)

December 2013 (
Société Française de Luth: original en français)

"Recercari by Francesco Spinacino (1507): fifths, octaves, two-voice style, free scale passages, parallel thirds in the manner of La Spagna – greetings from the genesis of the lute repertoire at the beginning of the 16th century, yet tinted with hues of the 15th... But since lutenists were good improvisers, even pioneers of instrumental art, they love to experiment; hence there are surprises which sound “harmonic” to our ears, although counterpoint is still the uncontested language of the era. Our preferred recercar is no doubt number 36 from the first book with its contrasting ambiances, elegant lines, virtuosity... Peter’s rendition is very well-phrased. As for number 37, one will recognize in it melodic passages similar to Capirola – hardly surprising given the two lutenist-composers’ temporal (and geographic) proximity...

Recercari by Francesco da Milano (ca 1536): from the first recercare onward the stylistic change is tangible – grand vertical chords, less modal instability, major-minor orientation, perfect imitation and counterpoint, an architecture more evident to today’s ear... In particular we liked the suppleness, mastery and clarity of the monumental recercare 33, the rhythmic feeling of number 40, the phrasing and effects of 51, the elegance and character of 38...

We also appreciated very much Peter’s warm, mellow sound (even though we would have liked a bit more “fruity” sound in the sometimes rather bare passages of Spinacino), as well as above all his musicality, the fluidity and serenity of his phrasing and, in short, his sensitive and generous temperament!

This recording has all one could wish for in a solo-lute recording: an inspiring repertoire at once elaborate and elegant, a calm and velvety ambiance, and the charm of a unique sonority (due also to the 6-course lute by Michael Lowe inspired by Georg Gerle and Hans Frei)."
 P. Boquet

Lauten-Info, 4/2013
Original auf Deutsch

"...Peter Croton takes an improvisatory approach to his interpretations, the result being an impressive CD... ...all who have heard him know that his skills are outstanding, and the recording technique is beyond reproach..."
  Joachim Domning


CD des Tages (10.01.14)
CD of the day (January 10th, 2014

"Colorfully and beautifully played"
"Farbenreich und schön gespielt"