Reviews by the editorial staff of Early Music America. Have a new CD or book? Submit it for consideration.


CD Review: A Mesmerizing Medieval Debut from Concordian Dawn

CD Review: A Mesmerizing Medieval Debut from Concordian Dawn

By
Karen Cook
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.
CD Review: Apollo's Fire Seeks Unity with "O Jerusalem!"

CD Review: Apollo’s Fire Seeks Unity with “O Jerusalem!”

By
Aaron Keebaugh
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.
Book Review: God is in the Details. Bach is, too, with Baroque Violin & Viola Lessons from Walter Reiter

Book Review: God is in the Details. Bach is, too, with Baroque Violin & Viola Lessons from Walter Reiter

By
Carol Lieberman
'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.
CD Review: Cantata Collective Opens Its Bach Account

CD Review: Cantata Collective Opens Its Bach Account

By
Jeffrey Baxter
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.
Recording Review: Scarlatti on a One-of-a-Kind Instrument

Recording Review: Scarlatti on a One-of-a-Kind Instrument

By
Steven Silverman
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.
CD Review: Josquin and Friends Inspire Gesualdo Six to the Heights

CD Review: Josquin and Friends Inspire Gesualdo Six to the Heights

By
Aaron Keebaugh
Plush and radiant, the performances cast a vivid glimpse of a rich and varied era fit to mark the 500th anniversary of Josquin's death in 2021.
Book Review: Weighty and Welcome Study of Baroque Tempo and Meter

Book Review: Weighty and Welcome Study of Baroque Tempo and Meter

By
Raymond Erickson
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.
CD Review: Baltic Tour is Stunning Achievement by Ensemble Peregrina

CD Review: Baltic Tour is Stunning Achievement by Ensemble Peregrina

By
Karen Cook
The four-part series sinks deeply into the popular, vernacular, and religious music of medieval Baltic regions, exploring their individual roots and connections to local cultures and histories.
CD Review: Cut Circle Scores Anew in Anonymous Masses

CD Review: Cut Circle Scores Anew in Anonymous Masses

By
Karen Cook
The singers all exhibit an amazing sense of control; in lesser hands, or lungs, these works would run out of steam halfway through, but the breath, tone, and phrasing are superb.
CD Review: Versatile Musician Brings Italian Nun's Works to Life

CD Review: Versatile Musician Brings Italian Nun’s Works to Life

By
Karen Cook
This latest release by gambist Phillip Serna of works by Claudia Francesca Rusca shows off the musical powers of multi-tracking to solid success.
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