Synaulia: Music from Ancient Rome

COMPOSERS: Synaulia
LABELS: Amiata
ALBUM TITLE: Vol 1, Wind Instruments
PERFORMER: Synaulia
CATALOGUE NO: ARNR 1396

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Twenty years of research and performance went into Synaulia, making it as thorough as it is speculative. Nobody knows what ancient Roman music sounded like, so the project works backwards from assorted Mediterranean traditions and known period instruments. You actually get to hear the buccina and the iynx, along with a whole rousing ensemble of voices and instruments.

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To my ears it still sounds quite medieval, with a touch of Royal Shakespeare Company about the presentation of little pieces like interludes in a play. The least convincing part is the singing, very decorous with an occasional hint of plainsong. Perhaps they should go browsing in Voices of the World and see if they can fire themselves up.