Search - Michael Praetorius, Pierre Francisque Caroubel, Terpsichore Anonymous :: Folie Douce (Sweet Folly) Renaissance Improvisations

Folie Douce (Sweet Folly) Renaissance Improvisations
Michael Praetorius, Pierre Francisque Caroubel, Terpsichore Anonymous
Folie Douce (Sweet Folly) Renaissance Improvisations
Genres: Dance & Electronic, Special Interest, Classical
 
  •  Track Listings (29) - Disc #1

The disc's title means "Sweet Folly," but the contents of this intriguing program would best be described as serious fun. The five-member Ensemble Doulce Memoire not only seeks to re-create the instrumental and vocal sound...  more »

      
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Amazon.com
The disc's title means "Sweet Folly," but the contents of this intriguing program would best be described as serious fun. The five-member Ensemble Doulce Memoire not only seeks to re-create the instrumental and vocal sounds that Renaissance figures such as Leonardo da Vinci and Henry VIII might have heard, but most importantly strives to emulate the improvisational techniques practiced by all accomplished musicians of the period. To do this, these French performers employ such instruments as Renaissance guitar, lute, cornett, recorder, harpsichord, and cittern, and they skillfully utilize improvisational methods reconstructed from descriptions found in various contemporary treatises. Most of the works on the program are dances by Michael Praetorius; these players really know how to "swing," embellishing each piece with snazzy ornamentation and creating music in truly "joyful spontaneity." --David Vernier

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CD Reviews

Wow! When they say "Improvisations", they mean it!
Brianna Neal | USA | 11/29/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Ensemble Doulce Memoire at its finest! Fascinating, finger-flying creativity is at work here. If you think you've already heard these standard Renaissance dances by Praetorius, Attaignant, Haussmann, Widemann, Schein, and Peuerl, think again! These are fun, intricate and, at times, even frenzied arrangements featuring the impressive talents of founder Denis Raisin-Dadre on recorder, Freddy Eichelberger on harpsichord, Jean-Paul Boury on Cornetto, and Pascale Boquet on lute and guitar, with occasional percussive flare added by Bruno Caillat. Most of the selections on this release are pieces I love and know by heart, having played them for years with various amateur consorts. When faced with the option of improvising on a written part in such compositions, however, many amateurs tend to draw a complete blank regarding what to do, especially in front of an audience. If you play too, and this discomfort sounds familiar, buy this CD! Sit down with your score, put on the corresponding track, and watch what these musical wizards do with a simple line of melody. There are enough embellishment ideas here to practice and experiment with for a lifetime. And if you don't play, and could care less about learning how to improvise, just buy it for the sheer, joyful listening pleasure. "Folie Douce" is a true celebration of music and musicianship! If you are interested in more work of Ensemble Doulce Memoire, try their other Dorian release, "Renaissance Winds: Regal and Popular 16th Century Music for Wind Band", which showcases music for "high" (loud, outdoor, reed and brass) instruments, in contrast to the "low" (softer, indoor) instruments used in "Folie Douce". For more fun-filled Renaissance improvisations, try "The Food of Love: Early Instrumental Music of the British Isles" by Hesperus (recorder player Scott Reiss rocks!). For Baroque improvisations to rival the Renaissance ones in "Folie Douce", check out the recorder, strings and harpsichord of the Palladian Ensemble in "Held by the Ears"."
A Pleasant Potpourri of Pre-Baroque Pieces
Brianna Neal | 12/18/1998
(4 out of 5 stars)

"If your taste runs Bach and Before, this is the CD for you. The CD will also appeal to New Age/Celtic fans with its Medieval rhythms and instruments. Most of the songs reminded me of the better pieces on Mannheim Steamroller's Christmas trilogy. It may be a little exotic for listeners who prefer Mozart or Beethoven or other more traditional composers."
Renaissance Jazz
Milt Fancher | Buffalo Grove, IL | 02/08/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"My favorite recording of Renaissance music is an old Columbia LP called "Music of the Courts and Villages," in which the instruments buzz and clank and sound pretty ferocious. This is my second-favorite recording, and it might end up being your favorite since the other one is long out of print.Renaissance dance music is meant to move, and if it sounds like a bunch of street buskers, so much the better. This ensemble takes existing sources and adds their own ideas, all in the spirit of the period. Excellent work!"