The Italian Renaissance is the golden age of the lute. In quality and quantity, the lute pieces from this period are comparable to the piano works of the 19th century. Most of the works selected for this recording are by Francesco da Milano, an extraordinary virtuoso and gifted composer who was also known as "Il Divino" (the Divine), an epithet he shared with Michelangelo and Monteverdi. In addition to lute pieces by da Milano, the recording also includes other equally outstanding works by contemporaries, among them some of the Milanese's pupils. Thanks to this selection, it is easy to comprehend still today why the lute was considered the noblest instrument of all in the 16th century: Il nobilissimo istromento.