Works by M Praetorious, Guédron, Jeune, Janequin etc
Margaret Hunter (soprano); Cappella de la Torre/Katharina Bäuml
DHM 19439849172 62:42 mins
Some listeners may recall with affection the DG Archiv recording of six dances from Michael Praetorius’s dance anthology Terpsichore, released in 1960 and many times reissued. Since then, notable recordings have been made by the Ulsamer-Collegium, the Ricercare Ensemble of Zurich and by Pietro Busca’s Accademia del Ricercare. This new selection brings an additional and effective dimension by interspersing vocal pieces from other sources, sung by soprano Margaret Hunter with clarity and unaffected allure. Claude Le Jeune’s ‘Un gentil amoureux’ is especially beguiling.
The instruments used to perform Renaissance and early Baroque dances were seldom specified, though treatises of the period often refer to the kind of sounds that might be heard. Katharina Baüml and Capella de la Torre demonstrate imaginative responses to the music with a modest arsenal which includes a shaum, recorders, sackbut, organ, lute and percussion. Careful thought has been given to varying the colour spectrum which, going hand-in-hand with the sensitive vocal deployment, effortlessly holds our attention.
Irresistibly enchanting in all, with one or two mildly startling moments, most striking of which occurs in the ‘Passameze’ which hardly would sound out of place in the Scott Fitzgerald era.