sabato 3 gennaio 2015

Plaisir d'amour

15 tracks - MP3 192 Kbps - RAR 113 Mb

I was intrigued, delighted, and utterly transported to another time and place (far different from this one) while listening to this unusual recording, one that reflects the rich and fascinating wealth of folk and popular music from seventeenth and eighteenth century Europe, not often explored by many musical artists. What a gift of something special from Le Poeme Harmonique. The array of instruments--strings, period flutes, bagpipes, harp, lute, percussion, and fortepiano(!)--are colorful, warm, and beautifully played. No less wonderful is the ensemble of fine voices whose polished style and expressive personalities come through clearly in this superbly engineered recording. Claire Lefillatre's fluid and gorgeous sound is always a pleasure to the ear and the mind, while she brings glowing magic to several touching and haunting chansons. Attractive instrumental dances that truly sparkle punctuate the vocal selections and will delight your spirit. This is a unique offering of special music presented with Vincent Dumestre's ever impeccable standards of taste, musical artistry, and gift for programs that are at once historically valuable and culturally relevant. In my view, Le Poeme Harmonique is unmatched. I wish I could attend all their performances and own all their recordings. This one is a great choice for any musician's library. Mark T. Howard (Amazon)


1. Quand je menais mes chevaux boire (As I Took the Horses to Water), folksong (Normandy, Brittany)
2. Jan Petit que danse
3. La Louison, bourrée (Auvergne)
4. La religieuse rebelle
5. La Péronnelle
6. Mort et convoi de l'invincible Malbrough
7. Les tendres souhaits (tune by Pergolesi)
8. Bourrée (from Berry, transribed by Chopin)
9. La blanche biche
10. N'èran tres fraires
11. Ah, vous dirais-je maman
12. La Belle Vielleuse, method book for hurdy-gurdy: Tambourin
13. Qui vòu audir cançon
14. La Furstenberg
15. Plaisir d'amour, for voice & piano (or orchestra)

Le Poème Harmonique
dir. Vincent Dumestre

venerdì 2 gennaio 2015

Antonio Vivaldi - Concerti per Clavicembalo

27 tracks - MP3 192 Kbps - RAR 134 Mb

This is a transcription of some of the Red Priest concertos from a manuscript dating the early 18th century belonged to a Ann Dawson and stored in the Manchester Library.


from "L'Estro Armonico"Concerto op.3 No.5
Concerto op.3 No.7
Concerto op.3 No.9
Concerto op.3 No.12

from "La Stravaganza"Concerto op.4 No.1
Concerto op.4 No.3
Concerto op.4 No.4
Concerto op.4 No.6
Concerto op.4 No.1

Enrico Baiano, harpsichord

giovedì 1 gennaio 2015

Iacomo Carissimi - Jonah. Jephthah. The Judgement of Salomon

3 tracks - MP3 192 Kbps - RAR 79 Mb

This disc presents three of Carissimi’s oratorios on Latin texts. Carissimi’s vocal style in the oratorios consists essentially of stile recitativo of the type familiar from Monteverdi alternating with aria-like writing; the forms are not separated as in later Baroque works but flow from one to the other without pause. The text is divided among a narrator ( historicus ) and several people or groups of people. 
The three works on this recording tell familiar stories. Jephthah vows that, if he is victorious in battle, he will sacrifice to God whoever first comes to meet him from his house. His daughter is the unlucky victim, and she merely begs for two months to wander in the mountains with her companions and lament her virginity. No angel intervenes to spare her life as in Handel’s oratorio. Handel was so impressed with the final chorus that he borrowed it for his oratorio Samson. The Judgment of Solomon concerns the dispute of two women over a child and Solomon’s command to divide the child in two as a means of discovering the identity of the true mother. Jonah recounts the story of Jonah’s being swallowed by the whale while attempting to evade God’s command to preach repentance to Ninevah, and Jonah’s deliverance and fulfillment of his mission.
The Gabrielli Consort and Players perform these works to perfection. Everything sounds right, tempos are not rushed, the members of the Gabrielli Consort sing beautifully in solo and choral work. Because the Consort has no altos, music assigned to altos is performed by high tenors. A toccata by Frescobaldi is played as the Prelude to Jephthah , which lacks its own.
This appears to be the only currently available recording of The Judgment of Solomon . I have Jephthah and Jonah on a Naxos disc that Brian Robins reviewed very favorably in Fanfare 29:1. I am not as enamored of those performances as was Mr. Robins. I find McCreesh’s disc preferable in every way. This disc was originally released on Meridian in 1987. Brilliant’s production duplicates the original in providing only the English text and in having only one track for each oratorio. The timing indicated for Jephthah on the back cover has its first two digits reversed. This is a great bargain, especially at Brilliant’s price.

FANFARE: Ron Salemi


Jephte, oratorio for 6 voices & continuo
Judicium Salomonis, oratorio for 4 voices, 2 violins & continuo
Jonas, oratorio for soloists, 5 voices, 2 violins & continuo

Gabrieli Consort & Players
dir. Paul McCreesh

mercoledì 31 dicembre 2014

La Barca d'Amore

15 tracks - MP3 192 Kbps - RAR 110Mb

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Sixteenth-century Italian virtuoso music for the Renaissance cornett, a tube-shaped (or snake-shaped) wind instrument that produces a sound somewhere between that of an oboe and a horn. It's difficult to play to begin with, and the performer here, William Dongois, delved into treatises and uncovered some of the instrument's improvisatory traditions. The result is some very exciting playing, an example of which can be heard in the Sonata seconda ("La cesta"), track 13. All of the music involves considerable ornamentation, and Dongois' notes don't make the procedures used totally clear. Much of his essay discusses the procedure known as division, a type of variation form that was partly left to the ingenuity of the player. The divisions here (not thus marked in the tracklist) are the pieces based on preexisting models, such as Jouissance vous donneray (track 4), with a model by Willaert elaborated by one G. dalla Casa. Other genres represented are sonatas, which at this point were instrumental analogues to the keyboard toccata, and dance pairs. All, according to Dongois, were vigorously ornamented, although the style would differ in each case. It requires a little work to figure out what's going on in the music, but it's enjoyable and smoothly done, and the album remains an important step in rescuing Renaissance instrumental music from the dry bones of its notated versions. 
James Manheim


Giacomo Gorzanis - La barca d'amore, galliarde for lute
Giovanni Bassano - Susanne un jour, diminution after Lassus
Anonymous, Italian - Pavane & Saltarello, for ensemble
Giovanni Della Casa - Jouissance vous donneray, diminution after Adrian Willaert
Pierre Attaingnant - Pavane - Galliarde No. 4
Giovanni Bassano - Vestiva i colli, diminution after Palestrina
Pierre Attaingnant - Pavane & sauterelle, for lute
Giovanni Bassano - Mirami vita mia, diminution after Claudio Merulo
Giovanni Battista Fontana - Sonata Quarta
Giovanni Battista Bovicelli - Variations on Palestrina's "Io son ferito"
Giovanni Battista Fontana - Sonata 6 per il violino o cornetto
Riccardo Rognoni - Anchor che col partire (after Cipriano de Rore)
Giovanni Mealli - Sonata for violin & continuo, Op. 3/2 "La Cesta"
Riccardo Rognoni - Pulchra es amica mea, diminution
Benedetto Ferrari - Ciaconna for solo voice

William Dongois, cornett
Le Concert Brisé

martedì 30 dicembre 2014

William Lawes - Consort Music

22 tracks - MP3 192 Kbps - RAR 91Mb

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Laurence Dreyfus and his viol consort Phantasm explore the extraordinary expressive puissance of 17th-century English composer William Lawes, in a disc featuring some of his four- and five-part consort music. Here are pieces of subtlety, full of passionate gesture and often deeply introspective. Individuality abounds, and I cannot readily call to mind an English composer during the 1620s and 1630s who had as rich a musical vocabulary as this composer whose life was cut short fighting for the royalist cause at the Siege of Chester in 1645. What I like about Dreyfus’s approach is an absence of preciosity and rigid orthodoxy. Neither serves the cause of honest expression, and Dreyfus’s involvement in the details which adorn the composite structure of the music – very often far from straightforward – draws the listener into a world of sound which Dreyfus himself describes as ‘inscrutable, bizarre and anarchic’. For too long, English consort music has had a specialist image, seen as the preserve of the enlightened few, or an indulgence by rarified amateur gatherings in north Oxford. Phantasm’s spirited playing blows all these cobwebs away, and readers will find that they need no multi-syllable password to the wholehearted enjoyment of this wonderful music.
Nicholas Anderson 


Consort Setts in Five Parts

Set a5 in a
1 Fantazy
2 Fantazy
3 Aire

Set a5 in F
4 Fantazy
5 Paven
6 Aire

Set a5 in c
7 Fantazy
8 Aire
9 Paven
10 Aire

Set a5 in C
11 Fantazy
12 Paven
13 Aire

Set a5 in g
14 Fantazy
15 On the Playnsong
16 Aire

For the Violls a4
17 Fantazy in c (VdGS #108)
18 Aire [Fantazy] in C (VdGS #111)
19 Aire in c (VdGS #109)
20 Aire in C (VdGS #112)
21 Aire in c (VdGS #110)
22 Aire in C (VdGS #113)


Laurence Dreyfus, treble viol and director
Wendy Gillespie, treble and tenor viols
Jonathan Manson, tenor viol
Markku Luolajan-Mikkola, bass viol

were joined by:
Sarah Cunningham, bass viol


18 tracks - MP3 192 Kbps - RAR 87Mb

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William Lawes was one of the greatest composer's during the first half of the 17th century. His consort of 6 parts was his last major work before he was tragically killed in 1645 fighting for his patron King Charles I. It robbed the musical world of a creative genius and one only wonders what more lavish compositions would have flowed from his pen. Lawes 5 part consort is good but it's in his 6 part consort that he shines the brightest, which the superb ensemble Phantasm take full advantage of. Their playing is immaculate,which is exactly what this music demands and they are recorded with great care. Lawes consort music is more experimental than his distinguished contemporary John Jenkins. English 17th century consort music continued to flourish after Lawes and Jenkins with Matthew Locke's 4 part consort before reaching it's peak with Henry Purcell's trio sonatas. 


Set a6 in g
1 Paven
2 Fantazy
3 Aire

Set a6 in C
4 Fantazy
5 Fantazy
6 Aire

Set a6 in F
7 Aire
8 Fantazy
9 Aire
10 Fantazy

Set a6 in B flat
11 Fantazy
12 Inominy
13 Aire

Set a6 in c
14 Fantazy
15 Fantazy
16 Inomine
17 Aire
18 Fantazy a6 in F (early version of Fantazy, Track 8)


Laurence Dreyfus, treble viol and director
Wendy Gillespie, treble and tenor viols
Jonathan Manson, tenor viol
Markku Luolajan-Mikkola, bass viol

were joined by:
Varpu Haavisto, tenor viol
Susanne Braumann, bass viol

lunedì 29 dicembre 2014

Claudio Monteverdi - Combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda

18 tracks - MP3 192 Kbps - RAR 111Mb

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Tasso’s major poetical work, Gerusalemme Liberata, has inspired many musicians over the centuries but few capture the immediacy of the imagery so perfectly as Monteverdi in his celebrated ‘madrigal-scena’, Il combattimento. Gabriel Garrido approaches the work with steamy imagination and directs a deliciously wafted group of strings who commentate on events with sepia-like nostalgia.


01 - Monteverdi -Combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda
02 - Monteverdi -Sinfonia
03 - Sigismono D'India -Forsennata gridava
04 - Monteverdi -Vattene pur, crudel
05 - Eredi -L'Armida del Tasso -Rimanti in pace (I parte)
06 - Eredi -L'Armida del Tasso -Vattene pur, crudel (II parte)
07 - D'India -Là tra 'l sangue e le morti
08 - Mazzocchi -Chiudesti i lumi, Armida
09 - Eredi -L'Armida del Tassa -Or che farà? (V parte)
10 - Eredi -L'Armida del Tassa -Poi ch'ella in sé tornò? (VI parte)
11 - Eredi -L'Armida del Tassa -Che fa più meco il pianto? (VII parte)
12 - Eredi -L'Armida del Tassa -Misera Armida (VIII parte)
13 - Eredi -L'Armida del Tassa -Questo bellezza mia (IX parte)
14 - Bernardi -Sinfonia prima a 6
15 - Cifra -Era La Notte
16 - Monteverdi -Piagn'e sospira
17 - D'India -Ma che? Squallido e oscuro
18 - Biagio Marini -La bella Ermina

Marinella Pennicchi, soprano (Clorinda)
Giovanni Caccamo, tenor (Tancredi)
Furio Zanasi, baryton (testo)

Ensemble Elyma
dir. Gabriel Garrido

domenica 28 dicembre 2014

Dictionary of Medieval & Renaissance Instruments

2 CD - MP3 192 Kbps - RAR 102+91Mb

CD 1 - - CD 2

CD 1 - - CD 2

See for contents

No booklet in the RAR.

Cantus has performed an invaluable service for fans of early music by assembling a CD that demystifies the assortment of archaic instruments found in historically correct performances of Medieval and Renaissance repertoire. For anyone who has puzzled over the difference between a shawm and a bombard, a vielle and a vihuela, as well as anyone just curious about the wealth of wonderful but unfamiliar sounds in early music, this CD is a treasure. The collection groups the instruments by families (bowed strings, plucked strings, keyboards, winds, etc.), and offers tracks not only of each instrument playing by itself, but with other instruments and with voices in the most common period groupings. The performances, mostly taken from recordings in the Cantus catalog, but some made especially for this project, are clean and direct -- nothing fancy, but just right for doing the job of familiarizing the listener with the sounds of the instruments.