Reviews by the editorial staff of Early Music America. Have a new recording or book? Submit it for consideration.
Premiere Recording of Unpublished Motets by Giulio San Pietro del Negro
This strong new recording is a collection of unpublished motets by Giulio San Pietro del Negro who, like his contemporary Monteverdi, let the words guide the music.
An Anonymous Lover in Chicago
The music of Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges is gaining a foothold in the repertoire, and his only surviving opera has finally been recorded. Haymarket Opera's splendid 'The Anonymous Lover,' from 1780, features a winning cast and strong orchestra. Unmissable.
It’s All Just ‘Whyte Noyse’
Viol players today might know the music of English Tudor composer William Whyte, even as his biography remains a mystery. In this vivid new recording, New York's Abendmusik has finally committed Whyte's complete consorts to disc and make a compelling case for his music.
Telling the Origin Stories: Opera in the 17th century
An impressive and valuable new book, 'The Cambridge Companion to Seventeenth-Century Opera,' traces the origins and development of opera, from the 16th through cusp of the 18th centuries. More than a dozen scholars contribute essays, covering Florence and Paris as expected, but also with insightful histories on English, German, and the Spanish territories (including in the Western Hemisphere).
King Charles’ Musical Mistress
Britain's King Charles II had a French-born mistress, Lady Louise. In their remarkable debut recording, Ensemble Leviathan explores music of her orbit and influence, from the 'rustick' to songs of madness and mourning.
‘Marais at Midnight,’ Fit for a King
Gambist Laura Jeppesen and theorbist Catherine Liddell revel in the nocturnal sounds of Marin Marais, mixing and matching movements from the composer's different suites. What follows is a performance of alluring introspection and tenderness.
Machaut’s Remède de Fortune: Same Songs, Different Music
The Orlando Consort, on the eve of their last-ever performance at the Boston Early Music Festival in June, have released Machaut in a breathtakingly beautiful new recording.
Ut, Re, Mi, Fa: A New Look at Learning in the 18th Century
This path-breaking new book might be the definitive study of the technique, called 'solmization,' by which many 18th-c. musicians learned to read—and subsequently to perform, improvise and compose—melodic lines.
‘Eros & Subtilitas’ in Dialogue from the Italian Renaissance
'Eros & Subtilitas,' the latest from Tasto Solo, is as unmissable as their other recent releases. It centers around music by 16th-c. Italian composer Vicenzo Ruffo and the interplay between vocal and instrumental music.
‘My Cup of Tea’ Goes Down Easy
The Baroque-to-Folk ensemble Beneath A Tree gathered their favorite and most enjoyable music in the album 'My Cup of Tea.' They performed on a recent EMA Emerging Artists Showcase, and this recording is equally impressive—warm, unpretentious, beautifully delivered.