“Gut, Wind and Wire” – Instruments of the Baltimore Consort – Dorian

by | Nov 8, 2007 | Classical CD Reviews | 0 comments

“Gut, Wind and Wire” – Instruments of the Baltimore Consort – Dorian DSL-90601, 58:13 ****:

(Mary Anne Ballard – viols, fiddle, rebec; Mark Cudek – cittern, recorder, crumhorn, viol; Larry Lipkis – bass viol, recorder, crumhorn; Ronn McFarlane – lute; Chris Norman – flutes, bagpipe, bodhran; Mindy Rosenfeld – flutes and fifes; Guest Artists: Edwin George – recorder on tr. 1; Wm. Simms – bandora on tr. 24, 25, 29)

This all-instrumental 36-track compilation comes from both the past eight Dorian CDs by the Consort plus 12 new and previously unreleased tracks.  The selections come from 15th and 16th century sources and collections, including The English Dancing Master, Liber Primus Leviorum Carminum, The Dublin Virginal, and various lute books. Three selections from Michael Praetorius’ important collection of dances, Terpsichore, are included, but most of the music is anonymous, from traditional folk sources of the British Isles.

The back cover of the note booklet shows most of the instruments heard on the disc, together with a legend identifying each one and a paragraph in the notes on the history and uses of each instrument.  The actual instruments are replicas of those used from 1500 to about 1700 to play instrumental music.  Anyone will be instantly up to date on what instruments are heard in early music after looking over and listening to this fascinating CD.  The selections are grouped with various titles to indicate their connection.  For example: Celtic Flute, Renaissance Italy, An English Country Ball, and some of the lusty, rhythmic dances grouped under the sobriquet “La Rocque ‘n Roll.”

Clean and present sound from close micing makes this a dynamic and satisfying program to hear.  The variety of instrumentation also makes the program more interesting and tweaks the ear to listen for specific instruments one has just read about.

 – John Sunier

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