Studio der frühen Musik (Thomas Binkley) – Pop Ago (Chansons – Songs – Canciones – Lieder – Canzonen) (1973)

FrontCover1Studio der frühen Musik (Studio of Early Music) was an early music group active from 1960–1980 and based in Munich/Germany.

The leader of the group was Thomas Binkley, and the activity of the group coincided with the years he was teaching at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis. Core members of the group were Binkley (lute), Sterling Jones (vielle), and Andrea von Ramm (mezzo-soprano, rebec, hurdy-gurdy and harp), who had previously organised an earlier Studio der Frühen Musik in Cologne. To these three members were added a male singer; first the tenors Nigel Rogers 1960-1964, then Willard Cobb 1964-1970, and Richard Levitt (counter-tenor) 1970-1979. The activity of the group ceased when Binkley returned to America to found the Early Music Institute at Bloomington, Indiana in 1979.

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An important predecessor was New York Pro Musica, founded 1952 by Noah Greenberg (1919-1966). But Studio der frühen Musik produced a “radically different sound” anticipated other ensembles such as the Early Music Consort of London of David Munrow and Christopher Hogwood (founded 1967, disbanded in 1976 following Munrow’s death), and the Clemencic Consort founded in 1969 by recorder player René Clemencic. The end of Studio der frühen Musik’s activity coincided with the watershed in medieval performance moving to a cappella performance typified by Gothic Voices founded by Christopher Page in 1980.

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Thomas Binkley (Cleveland, Ohio, December 26, 1931 – Bloomington, Indiana, April 28, 1995) was an American lutenist and early music scholar.

Thomas Eden Binkley studied at the University of Illinois (BM. 1956, PhD. 1959) and the University of Munich (1957–58). He taught at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis in Basel (1973–77). He was then founding director of the Indiana University Early Music Institute at Bloomington, Indiana from 1979 till his death from cancer at the age of 63. For twenty years (1960–1980) he led the Studio der Frühen Musik in Munich with Andrea von Ramm (1928–99) and Sterling Jones, producing an extensive discography of medieval music.

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Binkley was effectively house artist for EMI Electrola in the first years of the EMI Reflexe series in Germany. The distinctive Dalíesque covers for the series were designed by Roberto Patelli (b. 1925) an Italian graphic artist resident in Cologne. (wikipedia)

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And here is an album by the ensemble that has already impressed me:

Impressive if only for the number of composers who have fallen completely into oblivion, such as Giacomo Fogliano, Gian Domenico Da Nola, Luzzasco Luzzaschi, Thomas Crecquillon or Heinrich Isaac, to name but a few….

Only John Dowland was already known to me.

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And their compositions are somehow quite complicated … one’s own listening habits are occasionally strained, but at the same time a whole musical cosmos opens up.

The music, supple, intimate and graceful, and at the same time a music with rough edges, occasionally pearly.

A contradiction ? Not for me.

Therefore again a listening recommendation from me … Music beyond any mainstream.


Thomas Binkley (various instruments)
Sterling Jones (various instruments)
Richard Levitt (vocals)
Andrea von Ramm (vocals)


01. L’amor Donna (Fogliano) 2.18
02. Chi La Gagliarda (daNola) 2.31
03. Canta Giorgia (Traditional) 1.44
04. S’il Disse Mai (Tromboncino) 3.15
05. Ave Maria Stelle (Luzzaschi) 1.23
06. Petit Fleur (Crecquillon) 2.56
07. Si Je Languis D’un Martire Incogneu (de Courville) 4.02
08. Si Jamais Mon Ame Blessée (Guédron) 3.46
09. Prelude (Gaultier) 0.43
10. Blond Est Le Filet D’or (Besard) 2.37
11. Ich spring an diesem Ringe (Traditional) 2.53
12. Insbrugh, ich muss dich lassen (Isaac) 2.35
13. La La Hö Ho (Isaac) 1.25
14. Tan Buen Ganadico (del Encina) 1.43
15. Dale Si Le Das (Traditional) 2.58
16. Fantasy (Morley) 1.56
17. Woodycock (Traditional) 2.28
18. Miserere (Traditional) 1.48
19. Adieu For Oliver Cromwell (Dowland) 4.14



Thomas Binkley

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