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Elizabethan Consort Music
Innocenzio Alberti, Nicholas Strogers, English Anonymous
Elizabethan Consort Music
Genres: Dance & Electronic, Jazz, Special Interest, Classical
 
  •  Track Listings (29) - Disc #1

It's always a treat to experience the best of something: in this case, a performance of 16th-century music. Of course, the form and makeup of the viol consort, which includes various sizes of viols, often joined by other s...  more »

      
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Amazon.com
It's always a treat to experience the best of something: in this case, a performance of 16th-century music. Of course, the form and makeup of the viol consort, which includes various sizes of viols, often joined by other strings such as lute, itself is an instrumental configuration as close to perfection as any ensemble can be. This, accompanied by a style of writing that fully exploits the complementary timbres and the abilities of each instrument to delineate intricate polyphonic passages as well as to deliver chordal harmonies with uniquely rich resonance, makes for some of the most listenable music ever invented. Jordi Savall and his Hesperion XX are simply the world's best at this sort of music, and on this program they just flawlessly go about their business, bringing us more than two dozen delightful, dancing pieces from several composers, including John Taverner, William Mundy, and Anonymous. --David Vernier
 

CD Reviews

Transported to another age
Stephen A. Haines | Ottawa, Ontario Canada | 01/23/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Not that many years ago, my favourite classical DJ expressed the view that "original instruments" ensembles were a "passing fad". He was strong in his belief that early instruments, even those manufactured today on early models, couldn't provide the depth and range of music his critical ear required. The emergence of La Petite Band began the process of bending his rigid outlook. When Jordi Savall came into prominence, and in particular Savall's Hesperion XX, this commentator had become a staunch advocate. I followed right along with him.This CD exemplifies the superb quality of music and sound production Savall and his team. It would be interesting to know just how deeply Savall gets into the production of his CDs, for they are uniformly excellent. This one takes us from Savall's Catalan to the courts of Elizabethan England. In presenting that time and place, Savall adds a special knowledge of how the music of that era was produced. You almost automatically feel yourself transported to an English manor house or palace to join the other courtiers in listening to these delightful renditions. It's important to remember that this was the primary domestic entertainment of the day. We forget how sensitive the hearing of the listeners of that day must have been to nuances we often miss in the sound competitive world we live in. They could, and did, focus on the sound and only the best was accepted. Or, indeed, even offered by composers.Savall, as usual, has drawn it all together with finesse and ability. Watching him conduct is to see each note from every instrument drawn forth and assessed. It's almost as if the sound will not be released to the listener unless perfectly produced. But under his direction, that is exactly what is accomplished. Of all the CDs of Elizabethan instrumentals, this must be your first choice."
Superb- For Connoisseurs of the Genre
Stephen A. Haines | 08/21/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Hesperion XX performs this genre of music as well as anyone today, and this recording shows their reputation is deserved. This music is played with consummate professionalism on period instruments. However, this might not be the best recording for a first exposure to this repetoire. It lacks a brightness that modern instruments have and that contemporary audiences frequently expect. It contains music by composers that you almost have to be a musicologist or a musician active in 16th century music to know. But if you want to hear a splendid and- I think- authentic recording of Elizabethan Consort music, then look no further."
Beautiful Sounds
Stephen A. Haines | 11/17/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This is a complex sort of music played on period instruments giving the late twentieth Century listener a challenge. Once you get over the novelty of the tones you find an underlying treat of rhythm and melody.This is well worth buying."