Clever and exotic arrangements by the Toronto Consort
Brianna Neal | USA | 11/25/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The wanderings of troubadours and minnesingers, the crusades, and pilgrimages to sites such as Rome and Santiago de Compostela--all these journeys are touched on in this collection, and the musical flavors of French and German music blend with those of Spain and the Near East to produce fun, feel-good music that surely would have cheered any weary traveler. The spirited Toronto Consort is joined by guests Ben Grossman (percussion, ud and organistrum) and Katherine Hill (vocals, vielle and rebec) as well as former member Alison Mackay (vielle). One of the great things about medieval monophonic music is hearing how different ensembles choose to arrange and perform the same pieces. Such variety was surely common in an age where there were no recordings and rarely any scores, so that each sounding of a piece was live, unique and subject to interpretation. To listen to and compare other recordings of medieval pilgrimage music, check out "Llibre Vermell" by Sarband, "The Black Madonna: Pilgrim Songs from the Monastery of Montserrat" by Ensemble Unicorn, and "On the Way to Bethlehem: Music of the Medieval Pilgrim" by Ensemble Unicorn and Ensemble Oni Wytars. For more versions of medieval Spanish music, try "Kalenda Maya" by the group of the same name, "Alfonso X, "El Sabio": Cantigas de Santa Maria" by Ensemble Unicorn, and "Cantigas de Amigo" by Ensemble Alcatraz with Kitka and Angelorum."
Brianna Neal | 11/21/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"If you are a fan of early music you will LOVE the Toronto Consort. Actually, they're the group that made me a fan in the first place - with this CD!!! Since then I have puchased many more of their albums and seen them live. Excellent!"