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The Gift of Music, Keswick House, Branthwaite Road, Workington, Cumbria, CA14 4ED, United Kingdom.
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The Gift of Music | CDs | Medieval | Making Merrye
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Cheerful sounds and ringing melodies abound in this lovely collection of late-medieval music, compiled with the colourful cover image in mind. Bombards, shawms, lutes, harps and gitterns provide a rich programme of music, with songs and instrumental music from Spain, Italy, France and Britain.1 Bear Dance2 Pied du Cheval3 Agincourt Carol4 Quene Note5 Montard Brawle6 Mi very joye7 Io no tango8 Ductia IV9 Scaramella10 Alm redemptoris mater11 Ein Welsh tanz12 Der Hauff auff13 Ductia V14 Ductia VI15 The Harpist16 Estampie17 Saltarello18 Mirie it is19 Worldes bliss20 Ductia VII21 My love's coming home22 To Vigo's sea come haste23 Lamento24 Ductia VIIISara Stowe voice, pipe and taborSharon Lindo pipesJon Banks voice, gittern, harp, dulcimer, percussion, shawmMatthew Spring lute, gittern, hurdy-gurdy, percussionThe Oxford Girls' Choir EstampieJohn Rowlands-Pritchard Worldes blissMichelene Wandor recorder'To pleye on sundry Instrumentys,On harpe, lut & on gyterne,And to revelle at taverne
'John Lydgate: The Pilgrimage of the Life of Man c.1430The programme begins with the 'Bear Dance', played at the start by pipe and tabor (it's actually a very clever trick for a single person - Sara Stowe - to manage two instruments at once). She is joined by the hurdy-gurdy, with its unusual combination of insistent drones and superb rhythmic clarity. Finally the dulcimer joins in. This instrument is played by hammers hitting pre-tuned strings, which are laid out somewhat as if the instrument was a horizontal harp. Other instruments can also be heard on this album, from the small bagpipes, played by Sharon Lindo, to the common medieval line up of a variety of plucked string instruments. The first to be heard is the gittern, which joins the hurdy-gurdy early in track 5. This is a small instrument, a little like a lute. Its strings are played with a plectrum. Later we also hear the lute itself, and the medieval harp - a small, gentle instrument with a clear, singing tone.Songs on the album come from all over Europe. 'Mi veri joye' is English. 'Scaramella' is Italian - and very cheerful. Tracks 21 and 22 are Spanish and the melody and text of track 18 are Scottish in origin. The 'Agincourt Carol' has French associations, while the two lute pieces (tracks 11 and 12) are from Neusidler's German tablature. The title 'Ductia' appears several times: these are medieval instrumental pieces of varying complexity and arranged here for a differing variety of instruments. The 'Estampie' and 'Saltarello' are different types of medieval dances, as are the 'brawles'. In between these exciting pieces there are some more reflective works involving the plucked instruments. 'Alma redemptoris mater' is dedicated to the Virgin Mary, an important figure in the spiritual lives of everybody in Europe before the religious upheavals of the Reformation in early Renaissance times.
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