Music from Ancient Rome Vol. 2

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COMPOSERS: Various
LABELS: Amiata
WORKS: from Ancient Rome Vol. 2
PERFORMER: Synaulia
CATALOGUE NO: ARCD 1002

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Straddling the borders of early and world music, this exploration has enough speculative madness about it to be quite compelling. Nobody really has a clue what the Romans’ music sounded like, but they left pictures and written accounts to feed the imagination.

Lyres and citharas give a nod towards Pythagorean number systems and attempt to work backwards in time from later eastern Mediterranean styles. Voices and wind instruments round out the ensembles and give them extra oomph.

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If anything the results err on the simple, slow and safe side, but theycan be starkly dramatic, and the wilder dances are effective while you are listening, whatever you may think about their credibility. Some find instrumental musicianship is on display too. Robert Maycock