Reviews by the editorial staff of Early Music America. Have a new recording or book? Submit it for consideration.
In one of the most turbulent eras in French history, music served to consolidate the power of Louis XIII and legitimize the Bourbon monarchy. Peter Bennett's new book brings together history, theology, and philosophy to fill a major gap on French music in the early 17th-c.
Musica Secreta's exceptional new release is as much about gorgeously sung Renaissance polyphony as about musicological discoveries. A must-listen album.
She's remembered for a letter the great Tartini sent her, a key document on 18th c. violin technique. But Maddalena Lombardini Sirmen was herself an inventive composer, and this is the first historical performance CD of her engaging Violin Duets Op. 5.
Book Review: ‘Like an Electric Shock,’ Channeling the Ancestors and Discovering Historical Performance
Peter Bassano's story goes back 500 years, when five Bassano brothers were hired by Henry VIII as court musicians. In the late 1960s, Peter joined David Munrow in London's exploding early-music scene. He describes it as "an electric shock going through me."
Yi-Heng Yang's latest recording on the fortepiano covers three early Romantic composers: Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel, Robert Schumann and Franz Schubert. She makes the case for the music, but equally for use of the fortepiano in this repertoire.
It's fascinating to see how artists responded to pandemic lockdowns. Violinist Martin Davids' clever project takes Baroque pastiche into new realms, stitching together movements from various composers.
The Flanders Recorder Duo, exacting in technique and joyful in expression, explore two-part repertoire from across the centuries, going back to the 13th century and as fresh as a world premiere.
Jan Caeyers’ expertise with both the social history of the composer’s world and the music of the period makes this an important addition to the Beethoven literature. Told with almost operatic drama, the book tells us much that we did not know, adding to our understanding and appreciation of this pivotal figure in musical history.
With this new publication of François Couperin's celebrated 'Pièces de clavecin' (Book III) together with his 'Concerts royaux,' we now have a chance to compare the keyboard composer with the chamber musician in a single volume. The introduction alone is invaluable scholarship on this period of the composer's life and world.
Performer-scholar Charles Metz’s 2021 valuable recording includes English virginal music by William Tisdale, plus 16 works by other late 16th-century English composers. The lovely instrument, mostly preserved, dates to c. 1590.