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Terpsichore Dances / Motets
Michael Praetorius, David Munrow, Early Music Consort of London
Terpsichore Dances / Motets
Genres: Dance & Electronic, Pop, Classical
  •  Track Listings (15) - Disc #1


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All Artists: Michael Praetorius, David Munrow, Early Music Consort of London
Title: Terpsichore Dances / Motets
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 0
Label: Virgin Veritas
Release Date: 7/16/1996
Genres: Dance & Electronic, Pop, Classical
Styles: Vocal Pop, Opera & Classical Vocal, Sacred & Religious
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 724356128927

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CD Reviews

Embarrassing Error
Leslie Richford | Selsingen, Lower Saxony | 01/20/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Before commenting on the music on this disc, I should probably point out an embarrassing error of translation in the accompanying notes that causes booklet author Jerome Roche completely to misunderstand and misinterpret one of Praetorius's spiritual motets. The German text of the first verse of Track 11 is, "Erhalt uns Herr bei deinem Wort /und steur des Babsts und Türken Mord,/die Jesum Christum, deinen Sohn,/stürzen wollen von seinem Thron." Whoever translated this into English made a complete hash of it with following rendering: "Uphold us Lord in Your Word, and let the Pope and Turks be murdered for casting down Jesus Christ, Your Son, from His throne." But anyone familiar with both seventeenth-century German and Lutheran Church history will see that the correct translation should be, "Uphold us Lord in Your Word, and thwart the murderous plans [or, Stop the murderous attacks] of the Pope and the Turks who are attempting to cast down Jesus Christ, Your Son, from His throne." The German verb "steuern" used to mean to thwart or to hinder; and the noun Mord is still today not used with a genitive of the person to be murdered but of the person committing the murder.

All that need only worry the expert, but such are the prospective buyers of this disc, which was recorded in December 1973 and certainly does not reflect the way most people in today's early music scene would play Praetorius. But David Munrow was a pioneer, and this disc is a wonderful document of his enterprising spirit and musicality. He is here accompanied by a large team including such well-respected names as James Bowman, Charles Brett, David James, Martyn Hill, Michael Laird, Iaan Wilson, Alan Lumsden, Andrew van der Beek, Simon Standage, Trevor Jones, Christopher Hogwood and Peter Hurford, the instrumentalists among them playing all kinds of historical instruments of the kind that have only become known through the efforts of Munrow, Philip Pickett and others of the early music ilk. Munrow plays the excerpts from Terpsichore Musarum (1612) just a little too slowly for my way of thinking, because this is French-style dance music which should really set one's foot tapping. Philip Pickett's classic Decca version is certainly more in line with this, as also is the excellent version by the Ricercar Consort and La Fenice on the Belgian specialist label Ricercar.

Where Munrow comes into his own is with his selection of Praetorius's motets. Using multiple choirs, including boy trebles, Munrow illustrates quite fortuitously how German Lutheran church music, despite its virulent Protestantism, was dependent on the example of Giovanni Gabrieli and the music of St. Mark's, Venice. Listen to these tracks in front of your loudspeakers, not via headphones, and you will hear how transparently and spaciously they have been recorded (at London's Abbey Road studios, always a recommendation). The digital remastering has been done excellently, and I could not detect any but the faintest background noise; the instruments stand out clearly, and the voices are captured with wonderful warmth and depth.
There's a better Terpsichore recording available!
Dawn Helene | Goldens Bridge, NY USA | 03/05/2001
(2 out of 5 stars)

"If you're buying this CD for the motets, go ahead. But the Dances from Terpsichore are MUCH more fun on the New London Consort recording, directed by Philip Pickett (Decca). They actually make you feel like dancing - imagine that! Plus there are fifteen tracks totaling over 45 minutes on that record, as compared to only 9 tracks totaling 22-1/2 minutes on this one (a selection of Praetorius motets makes up the difference). This version of the dances is muddy, pale, and ponderous by comparison - New London Consort ROCKS!!!"
William Wood | Sydney, New South Wales Australia | 01/12/2001
(2 out of 5 stars)

"Listening to this CD release is not unlike listening to the original vinyl ..IF YOU STICK COTTON WOOL IN YOUR EARS...I vote this as the worst reissue I have heard...yes folks even worse than the Virgin reissues of Van der graaf ..(and that's saying something..) I have given this 2 stars..but only because the music is so good...don't be conned by David Munrows name appearing in bold letters ..I am sure he would have been devastated by the poor treatment handed out to this music and the wonderful musicians playing it....Shame ..Shame..Shame...find the vinyl instead ..It is a warm,well balanced recording of the wonderful music of Praetorius being played by musicians with a passion."