Collection: Los Ministriles

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COMPOSERS: Various
LABELS: Archiv
WORKS: Spanish Renaissance Wind Music
PERFORMER: Piffaro/Joan Kimball, Robert Wiemken
CATALOGUE NO: 453 441-2

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Los Ministriles (The Minstrels) is a collection of vividly colourful Spanish and Portuguese Renaissance pieces, played by the wind instrumentalists of Piffaro. The compilation includes both sacred and non-devotional items enriching an already thoughtfully contrasted programme.

Archiv has, in the past, issued many such anthologies as this, and the recipe has usually proved an enticing one. Piffaro, with its fastidious regard for instrumental propriety, lifts its own survey of European Renaissance wind music – France and Italy have already been issued – on to an altogether higher plain.

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Shawms, recorders, crumhorns, sackbuts, bagpipes, a hurdy-gurdy and other instruments, too, feature prominently, and, if your knowledge of them is a little rusty then they are both described and illustrated in the informative accompanying booklet. An invigorating release. Nicholas Anderson