Wonderful Early Music
Nicholas Croft | New York | 07/12/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The birth of the Tarantella musical form proceeds from a rather exotic set of events and the strange repercussions which follow.Briefly, large populations of the spider 'Lycosa Tarentula', also known more commonly as the Wolf Spider, are found in a region of Southern Italy called Taranto.The bite of the spider, while not deadly, results in a symptom of rapid heart beat in the afflicted individual. This rapid heart beat, it is said, gives rise to an almost irresistible urge to dance, preferably to a performed music in 6/8 meter.The music on this CD was composed to accompany such rhythmic dance, to help comfort the afflicted patient, and to provide the desired side effect of sweating the spider's venom from the patients blood stream.Thus, this is one example of a musical therapy treatment for a period between the 15th and 18th centuries.In fact, providing that the listener is divorced from the unwelcome scenario described above, this music makes for fine musical therapy, at the end of a typical hectic work day, here in the 21st century."
Superb, no doubt about that!
Richard Links | Berkeley, California | 02/23/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I really cannot understand the comments offered by Lawrence Brown, who provided his own comments on this recording.
Not only is this amongst the finest recordings ever made of this material, but it is also one of the most highly respected recordings ever made, period. The sonics will absolutely astound you. Keep in mind that it was an analog recording made with apparently minimalist microphone technique.
Ah, purity at its best!
The recording was originally released (on vinyl) on the Harmonia Mundi label. It was subsequently issued domestically in the USA on vinyl under the old venerable HNH label.
I own both copies on vinyl and also have the CD.
Incidentally, the vinyl literally trounces the CD. Panigua and ensemble are absolutely tops in their field. L. Brown must either be ultra sensitive to absolute pitch or something is very wrong with the copy he had available for his listening.
'Nuff said! Go and grab a copy and do not look back at all!