Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Ronn McFarlane, Chris Norman|
La Rocque 'n' Roll - Popular Music of Renaissance France / The Baltimore Consort
Genres: Dance & Electronic, Folk, World Music, Special Interest, Pop, Classical
This title isn't just a joke. It makes the valid point that these Renaissance pieces occupied the same place in their culture as our pop music does in ours. People whistled these tunes in the street and danced to them at n... more »
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This title isn't just a joke. It makes the valid point that these Renaissance pieces occupied the same place in their culture as our pop music does in ours. People whistled these tunes in the street and danced to them at night, and you can easily accept the disc's title when hearing the Baltimore Consort's extremely lively performances, which have all the rhythmic drive and gusto of a good rock band. The ensemble's arrangements and the variety of its programming also contribute to the success of this disc, which would make an excellent introduction to music of the period. The booklet contains translations of all the vocal texts, and Dorian's sound leaps out of the loudspeakers with great clarity and presence. --Leslie Gerber
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If Led Zeppelin had been born 400 years earlier...
Lise Kreps | Seattle, WA | 10/02/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"...and played the lute, they would've played like Ron McFarlane, and sang like Custer LaRue. Wonderful performances of 16th C popular music on historical instruments, with lovely twists of rock'n'roll performance techniques. Check out the jazzy krummhorn glissandos, the sexy lute strumming, the straight-ahead power vocal, and the hip plucked bass viol -- especially on the last track. This is my #1 "Desert Island Disk.""
My favorite + audiophile recording
seaan | Bay Area California | 05/25/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I've attended Baltimore Consort performances a number of times, and they are just about my favorite early music group. They do an outstanding job of making "old" music come alive. Sometimes early music recordings are dry and academic, and the Baltimore Consort is as far from that as you can get. Finally, they have a great since of humor, which often peaks through in their music.
They specialize in popular secular tunes of the age. Their playing is impeccable, and most of the group are accomplished soloists. La Rocque 'n' Roll is probably my favorite recording of theirs, the songs are fun, interesting, and involving. The best of the best...
The fact that the recording is technically very good is a nice bonus. As a matter of fact, "Jean de Nivelle" (track 26) is the first thing I play when evaluating speakers. It helps that I've heard the performance live (and unamplified), so I have a real life comparison. The recoding clearly captures the nuances of the individual instruments. Although obviously not as loud as modern rock, the recording still gives challenges speaker dynamics. Unlike some gee whiz audiophile recordings, I can listen to these songs again and again."
Brianna Neal | USA | 11/29/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The jaunty, whimsical tone of this CD is set by the opening bars of the first piece, "J'ai vu le loup," which starts out with one of the musicians shouting "Un! Dieux!" Many parallels are subtly drawn between the secular music of Renaissance France and popular music of today. "The appeal of performing 'popular' repertory lies in the opportunity it provides for creative expression," explains the insert booklet. "All of the song and dance arrangements on this CD are the creation of the members of the Baltimore Consort, who sometimes only have an unharmonized melody to start with..." What they may lack in specific direction from the long-dead song writers, they more than make up for with catchy arrangements and spirited improvisations. Soprano Custer LaRue sings her sultry French lyrics with relish and gusto, and the addition of reedy crumhorns and bagpipes played by Chris Norman and Mark Cudek adds to the provincial French flavor. The fun of the music is echoed in the CD's amusing packaging: The album cover, somewhat reminiscent of the Beatles' "Abbey Road", features the ensemble members walking along in single file, with their viol and lute cases in hand. Other interior pictures of the group poke fun at other folk and rock imagery, including one shot of a gentleman in shades licking the neck of his bass viol. Not exactly the norm for early music releases, but refreshing for just that reason. Rocque on!"