Exploring William Byrd’s Profound Legacy

Voices, viols, virginals, and more. Northwestern’s William Byrd Festival starts this week, a rare chance to hear lectures and performances. We speak with the festival artists and scholars about the versatile composer.

Recording Review: Bring That Trumpet in From the Cold

The latest recording from the U.K.-based ensemble Spiritato highlights sonatas from the Düben Collection, a huge trove of manuscripts used at the Swedish Royal Court from 1640 to 1720 and containing some of the earliest known music to combine strings and trumpets.

Book Review: Rumi, Music, and Mysticism from the Ottomans

Rumi’s poetry has received wide attention in recent decades, as has the Sufi order inspired by his poetry. While scholars have devoted attention to the poet himself, its musical ceremony has not been as well studied. This book helps fill that gap.

Recording Review: Mahan Esfahani’s Bach, Living in the Moment

It’s a pleasure listening to Mahan Esfahani’s recent recordings of some of J.S. Bach’s most iconic music for solo harpsichord, including the Six Partitas, Italian Concerto, and French Overture. Together these two discs make a logical, satisfying pairing. They’re exuberantly alive, loaded with insight. 

Review: Celtic HIP from Makaris

A best-of disc from 2022. The New York-based Makaris ensemble takes a refreshing, historically informed approach to 18th-c. Scottish tunes, (mis)attributed to David Rizzio.

Singing Bach in a Boston Neighborhood

The Bach Project has brought the music of old Johann Sebastian to Boston’s diverse Dorchester neighborhood, with some help from the young singers of the Ashmont Boy Choir.

Historically Inspired Set Design for Haymarket’s Monteverdi

Haymarket Opera’s new “Coronation of Poppea” production, opening next week, includes hand-painted sets done with historically informed design and techniques. The modern-day secret is a material that was well known to 17th-century theater artists: distemper paint.

Book Review: Music, Power, and the Divine Right of Kings

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.

Scroll to Top