Danza = Medieval Dances – Millenarium – Ricercar

by | Oct 7, 2009 | Classical CD Reviews | 0 comments

Danza = Medieval Dances – Millenarium – Ricercar 264, 68:35 **** [Distr. by Allegro]:

Millenarium is a group which tries its best to recreate the type of medieval music that one might actually have heard in the thirteenth or fourteenth centuries. Because of the scarcity of written documents from this period, and the great amount of varied talents that the musician was expected to be proficient at (like singing, playing, juggling, acrobatics, drama, etc.) it is often difficult to imagine what such an experience would have been like.

So here they have alternated some of the more famous tunes that have come down to us with improvisations based on certain “models”. I must say that the effort seems wholly successful; though my own experience with medieval music is limited to a certain number of favorite recordings, plus a stint with a collegium musicum in my college days, there is nothing in these improvisations that will lead one to conclude that there is anything other than a period spirit at work here. Everything they do has an authentic feel to it without any sense of contrivance or artificiality. The instrumentation used includes organs, percussion of various types, lutes, vieles, citole, transverse flutes, and harp.

The sound is recorded a little on the bright side, but turning down the volume helps. This is a fine effort worthy of any ancient music collection, and will have interest beyond those narrow confines as well. [And to those who like early music but prefer it instrumental…Ed.]

— Steven Ritter