Lackluster performance, strange selection
S. Gustafson | New Albany, IN USA | 02/01/2001
(2 out of 5 stars)
"It is important to note that the British -Estampie- ensemble performing on this record is not the same artist as the German -Estampie- group who made -Crusaders in Nomine Domini-, a much better record than this.
The programme on this recording is a strange selection. Was the intent to produce a general early music sampler? If so, there are a lot of gaps here. On the one hand, we have Crusader era and troubadour material like -Palastinalied-; on the other hand, we have lightweight British pastoral stuff, like two versions of -Greensleeves-. If, as the title suggests, the intent was to produce a medieval/pastoral atmosphere recording, then raucous wind performances of monophonic dance material seem not to belong. Both monophonic material and some not particularly well played ensemble polyphony make a record that seems to lack focus.
The ensemble playing is not the best on this disc. The female vocalist is competent, but seems to invest very little passion in the material. This one definitely starts to drag early on."
Robin Hood music
KAS | Tucson, AZ USA | 07/29/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The intent of this recording (according to the liner notes) is to evoke some of the sounds sentiments and personalities of Robin Hood's time, then drawing on later ballads and dances to celebrate the enduring Robin Hood legend. In this regard, the CD does a good job, presenting a variety of works from the late 1100s through the 17th Century. I'll agree with another reviewer that the ensemble playing is not the best, and sounds unpolished in several songs. The soprano is quite good, though. And there are a number of good little dances. Ballads like Robin Hood & the Curtall Fryer, Robin Hood & Maid Marian, and The Wedding of Robin Hood are all classic humorous Robin tales. Unfortunately, enjoyment of them may suffer from the lack of a lyrics sheet. Overall, if you like Robin Hood stories and early music, this is a fairly fun and inexpensive CD to add to your collection."