Syntagma Amici/Bernard Stilz – Krummhorn, cromorne, storto, tournebout? – 30 sel. by such as SUSATO, ISAAC, ANON., SENFL, DESPREZ, DONATO, WILLAERT, SCHEIN & PRETORIUS – Ricercar

by | Aug 29, 2008 | Classical CD Reviews | 0 comments

Syntagma Amici/Bernard Stilz – Krummhorn, cromorne, storto, tournebout? – 30 sel. by such as SUSATO, ISAAC, ANON., SENFL, DESPREZ, DONATO, WILLAERT, SCHEIN & PRETORIUS – Ricercar RIC 262 **** [Distr. by Allegro]:

This CD has one of the most unusual titles ever, and that’s appropriate since the music on it is pretty unusual too. As part of the early instrument movement in the 1950s the emphasis on instruments of the Baroque period moved backwards in time to the  Renaissance period. One instrument that appeared in nearly all the instrumental ensembles of that era was the crumhorn.  Using actual original instruments in museums as models, a German instrument make began to construct crumhorns, adding two keys to extend the limited range of the double-reed instruments.  The various names in the CD’s title are all variations on crumhorn in different languages. The 40 page booklet with the CD has illustrations of various crumhorns and notes their history.

The program is arranged in five parts, and up to eight crumhornists are heard at one time in some selections – often also playing recorders.  Continuo is sometimes provided by a regal organ, and in the several vocal selections a soprano and basso are heard.  The initial part is five short crumhorn selections by Susato. Next are German lieder and dances, then Italian selections. Two intermezzi from Florence are the penultimate section and the program closes with three Schwannengesang (Swan songs) by Schein and Praetorius. Lyrics are provided for the vocal works.

The buzzy sound of the crumhorns – especially of six or eight of them at once – is something to be heard.  I think it would appeal even to audiophiles who are not particularly into early music; it’s a kick!

– John Sunier

 

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