It’s exciting to discover an up-and-coming early-music ensemble, especially one with a focus on Medieval repertory. Concordian Dawn, with its debut album, is just such an ensemble. Its theme speaks to us today: fortune, desire, and hope, in the wake of forces beyond our control. The ensemble focuses on music that depicts medieval love and loss, anger, bitterness, grief, anticipation, and joy—emotions many of us have felt over the last few years.
Jeannette Sorrell and Apollo’s Fire, based in Cleveland, seek the themes that unite diverse cultures in "O Jerusalem!," an intriguing new recording that explores folk, religious, and high-art traditions. These live recordings, arranged from traditional sources and played with fire and reverence, offers a musical tour through each of the city’s four neighborhoods.
'The Baroque Violin & Viola' provides an important introduction to Baroque violin playing for the modern violin and viola student, in 50 highly detailed lessons. The book is a rich collection of ideas, techniques, insights, and sources compiled and interpreted by the author during a teaching career of 30 years as professor of Baroque violin.
The Oakland-based Cantata Collective opens its Bach series with a sampling of the solo-cantata repertoire in an engaging, intimate setting of one-to-a-part performances. This rewarding new disc features two gifted singers and Nic McGegan at the keyboard.
The star of Luisa Morales' uniformly excellent recording isn't the performer or the repertoire, it's the keyboard instrument: a hybrid with a lower manual on which the strings are plucked and an upper manual where the strings are struck by hammers. The sound is sweet with plenty of expressive nuance.
There is so much information here concerning specific meters and their historical development that anyone who can digest it all will approach the music of the German Baroque with new understanding, conviction, and a sense of freedom.