The hidden Baroque : Björn Schmelzer, Peter Paul Rubens and Orazio Vecchi

“I have never felt this “other” Baroque with quite the sense of anachronistic shock which I experienced when first encountering the cover photgraph for this CD.  At first glance, it almost looks as though it represents the lamenting Mediterrean culture of pleureuses (professional mourners), but it is in fact a funeral procession on the little … Continue reading The hidden Baroque : Björn Schmelzer, Peter Paul Rubens and Orazio Vecchi

The St. Gregory Society Schola : Palestrina and the Tridentine Mass

I was raised in the Catholic Church, educated at Jesuit schools and was an altar boy for several years from the age of eight, or so. I was taught enough of the Latin Mass to be able to assist the priest and recite the proper responses during the mass (we also had four years of Latin … Continue reading The St. Gregory Society Schola : Palestrina and the Tridentine Mass

HIP Debussy and Ravel : The Eroica Quartet

Eroica Quartet Peter Hanson violin 1 Julia Hanson violin 2 Vicci Wardman viola In Britain, the Eroica Quartet, founded in 1993 by four of the country's leading period-instrument performers, have the field virtually to themselves. Three of the members are principals in John Eliot Gardiner's Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique (which specialises in early 19th-century repertoire) and … Continue reading HIP Debussy and Ravel : The Eroica Quartet

Orlande de Lassus : dare spirito alle parole

The seven Penitential Psalms are a group of Psalms, numbers 6, 32, 38, 51, 102, 130, and 143 in the Anglican numbering (in the Vulgate all except Psalm 6 are numbered one digit lower), which have been in liturgical use for penitential prayer since early Christian times and, in the later Middle Ages, were prescribed … Continue reading Orlande de Lassus : dare spirito alle parole

The Orlando Consort’s latest : the radical development of music between the late-13th and mid 15th centuries

The Orlando Consort has paused their traversal of the songs of Guillaume de Machaut (their intention to record them all has yielded three CDs so far) and devoted their latest release to charting the radical development of music between the late thirteenth and mid fifteenth centuries—the transition from what is at essence embellished chant to … Continue reading The Orlando Consort’s latest : the radical development of music between the late-13th and mid 15th centuries

John Eliot Gardiner : el Camino de Santiago

John Eliot Gardiner and the Monteverdi Choir did something pretty special in 2004.  They attempted the pilgrimage to Santiago as it might have occurred in the Renaissance period. Gardiner said at the outset: This will be our 40th anniversary year, and I cannot envisage a more fitting way of celebrating this milestone than by undertaking … Continue reading John Eliot Gardiner : el Camino de Santiago

Gesualdo da Venosa : the music, not the life

Almost exactly one year ago I wrote a short overview of Carlo Gesualdo on the occasion of his 450th birthday, March 8, 1566. I have to admit that I am not entirely pleased with that short article since it played into the recurring stereotype of Gesualdo as an unhinged murdering count. While it is true … Continue reading Gesualdo da Venosa : the music, not the life