Ciaramella Dances on Movable Ground [TrackList follows] – Ciaramella Ens./Adam K. Gilbert & Rotem Gilbert, directors – Yarlung Records 45 rpm 09261-819V stereo vinyl *****:
Sophisticated Lady Jazz Quartet, Vol. I – Yarlung Records 33 rpm 09272-004V1 stereo vinyl ****:
(Ciaramella is a 7-person ensemble with recorders, percussion, dulcian, viola da gamba, guitar, theorbo and harpsichord
Sophisticated Lady Quartet: JJ Kirkpatrick, trumpet/Flugelhorn; Andrew J. Boyle, drums; Misha A. Bigos, piano; Gary Wicks, doublebass)
These two vinyls have been previously released on the Yarlung label as CDs. Here is our review of the CD of Sophisticated Lady Q.
The vinyl is somewhat more natural-sounding than the CD, but very close. Yarlung’s goal is to deliver sonics that are as close to the living performance as possible, and this vinyl is somewhat closer. Here’s an earlier CD of Ciaramella which we reviewed.
The seven-person group is made of extremely talented musicians, with a lively freshness to their delivery. This is more than just dance music – they may be sounds of three centuries ago but they are played in a modern way, with enthusiasm and good pacing – rather different from some Renaissance music ensembles. The Spanish and Italian areas are mostly explored in the seven selections on this disc. The most familiar will be the anonymous variations on Greensleeves, but there is also a fascinating original recently-composed work by one of the two leaders of the ensemble, Adam Gilbert: “The Fisher and Fox.” The other composers are Sanz, Falconieri (he gets two selections), Piccinini and Ortiz.
There are not many 45 rpm vinyls around today, and this format – though it requires getting up more often and extra expense – is probably the pinnacle of analog sonics today. And it’s a 180 gram audiophile pressing. The imaging and general performance quality is top notch. The sounds are strong on recorders and shawms, and the clarity is quite amazing. Strongly recommended to all early music fans with good turntables. [Their CD came out 10/29/13 and is handled by Amazon; the vinyls are direct…Ed.]
GASPAR SANZ: Jacaras
ANDREA FALCONIERI: Passacalle
ADAM K. GILBERT: The Fisher and Fox
ALESSANDRO PICCINI: Chiaccona in partite variate
ANDREA FALCONIERI: L’Eroica
ANON.: Greensleeves to a Ground
DIEGO ORTIZ: Recercada ottava