Giles Farnaby’s Dream Band – Same (1973)

FrontCover1Giles Farnaby’s Dream Band was a collaboration between the early music ensemble St. George’s Canzona, Derby-based folk group The Druids, and Trevor Crozier’s ‘Broken Consort’. They were backed by three jazz musicians: Jeff Clyne (bass guitar), Dave MacRae (electric piano) and Trevor Tomkins (drums).

The album title is a pun on the piece ‘Giles Farnabys Dreame’ by the renaissance composer Giles Farnaby.

The album largely consists of renaissance dance tunes played on a combination of early and modern instruments. This prefigures some of the work later undertaken by the Albion Band and Home Service. It is chiefly notable for its experimental nature, demonstrating some of the diverse attempts at fusion at the time which resulted in subgenres such as folk jazz and medieval folk rock. It is most similar in its sound to medieval folk and progressive rock bands like Gryphon and Gentle Giant. The rarity of the album has made it the subject of enthusiasm for some collectors.

The song ‘Newcastle Brown’ was subsequently released as a single (Argo, AFW112, 1973). (by Wikipedia)

“Giles Farnaby’s Dream Band make an entirely new medieval-electric sound. Formed by linking the medieval St George’s Canzona with the folk trio Broken Consort, the resulting band brings together early and present day instruments in imaginative and unique performances of some of the most tuneful and infectious music of all time.

The Dancing Master

“Most of the titles on this album are taken from ‘The English Dancing Master, published by John Playford, Britain’s first ever music publisher. The Tin Pan Alley of 1655 was situated near the Temple Church in London, and it was from a tiny shop near the church door that Playford’s publications were sold.

“The English Dancing Master or ‘Plaine and easie rules for the dancing of country dances, with the tune to each dance’ was first published in 1651, during the period of Oliver Cromwell’s Puritan Commonwealth. It was an austere time, with most of the old customs forbidden: dancing, profane singing, wakes, revels, ringing of bells, maypoles were all banned as dangerous to the security of the nation, and it seems a curious time to publish a collection of dance music. Playford’s own explanation was simple…’I publish this book lest the tunes be forgot’…

“The volume was immediately successful and went into several editions over the next twenty years (in fact it is still in print today). A possible reason for its popularity might have been that although Parliament abolished most forms of merry making, the Lord Protector himself seems to have enjoyed the occasional revel and given dancing a subdued show of approval…

Back Inside1

“14th November 1657: ‘On Wednesday last was my Lord Protector’s daughter married to the Earl of Warwick’s grandson; and on Thursday was the wedding feast kept at Whitehall, where they had 48 violins, 50 trumpets and much mirthe with frolics, besides mixed dancing (a thing heretofore accounted profane) till five of the clock yesterday morning.’ (by Kevin Daly; taken from the original liner notes)

Oh yes … not only an extremely rare album, but an album, that is really wonderful … old renaissance tunes performed in a very gentle and warm sound and style …

A more than unique and brilliant album !



St. George’s Canzona:
Frank Grubb (rebec, Recorder)
John Grubb (lute, harpsichord)
Derek Harrison (rebec)
John Lawes (crumhorn, Recorder)
Mike Oxenham (crumhorn, clarinet, curtal, Recorders)
John Sothcott (citole, crumhorn, rebec, recorders, whistle)
Leila Ward (crumhorn, Recorders)

The Druids (vocals):
Judi Longden – Keith Kendrick – John Adams – Mick Hennessy

Trevor Crozier’s Broken Consort:
Annie Crozier (concertina, bowed psaltery)
Trevor Crozier (vocals, banjo, cittern, guitar, harmonica, mandolin)
Vic Gammon (concertina, guitar)
Jeff Clyne (bass)
Dave MacRae (piano)
Trevor Tomkins (drums)


01. The Hare’s Maggot 2.45
02. Rufty Tufty/Beau Stratagem/Appley House 1.45
03. Hole In The Wall/The Chirping Of The Nightingale 1.50
04. Pastime With Good Company 2.55
05. Daphne/Nonsuch/Jack’s Maggot/Childgrove 4.47
06. Shrewsbury Lasses 2.36
07. Newcastle Brown 2.54
08. Helston Furry Dance/Picking Of Sticks/The Butterfly 2.02
09. The Indian Queen 2.40
10. The Happy Clown 1.44
11. Ratcliffe Highway 2.42
12. The Twenty Ninth Of May 2.01
13. The Black Nag/Poor Robins’ Maggot/Greensleeves 1.59
14. Portabella 2.37
15. The Draper’s Maggot/Tower Hill 3.07
16. Mr. Beveridge’s Maggot/The British Toper/London’s Glory 4.11

All songs are traditionals except “Newcastle Brown” which was written by Sothcott/Daly



Jan Akkerman – Tabernakel (1973)

frontcover1This album — which, despite being third in most discographies, was actually Jan Akkerman’s first official solo album — must have been a real shocker to a lot of Focus. Rather than working from the flashy, electric guitar side of the group’s sound, Akkerman chose to expand on the lute sound that he’d explored on Focus III’s “Elspeth of Nottingham.” Tabernakel represented Akkerman at his most formalistic, playing almost entirely in a classical idiom on lute and acoustic and electric guitars (with one brief side trip to the bass). The repertory is drawn largely from 16th century Tudor England, including compositions by John Dowland and Antony Holborne, rearranged by Akkerman and harpsichord virtuoso and scholar George Flynn. He gives one major concession to progressive rock in the form of the fuzz-laden reinterpretation of “House of the King,” which misses the flute part from the Focus original but is still worth hearing as a guitar showcase. Tabernakel is otherwise the real article as far as its classicism — the 14-minute-long “Lammy” comes close to being pretentious without quite crossing the line, and all of the album is a fascinating solo departure for the guitarist. What makes this album doubly intriguing is that apart from Flynn, Akkerman’s accompanists come entirely from the rock world: Tim Bogert, Carmine Appice, and veteran R&B drummer Ray Lucas, none of whom seems to skip a beat in their work here. Recorded at Atlantic Records’ studios in New York and released in 1974, when Focus was still near the peak of its fame, Tabernakel sold reasonably well at the time, but had been unavailable from the late ’70s until 2002, when Wounded Bird Records reissued it in a good-sounding CD edition. (by Bruce Eder)


Jan Akkerman (guitar, lute, bass, harpsichord, piano, glockenspiel, percussion)
Robert Alexander (trombone on 01. +08.)
Carmine Appice (drums on 04. + 10.)
Harold Bennett (flute on 01., 04. + 08.)
Lawrence Bennett (tenor vocals on 10.)
Eugene Bianco (harp on 08.)
Albert Block (flute on 08.)
Philip Bodner (oboe on 08.)
Tim Bogert (bass on 04. + 10.)
Raymond Crisara (trumpet on 01.)
Richard Davis (bass on 08. + 10.)
George Flynn (harpsichord on 08. + 10., glockenspiel on 08., piano on 08.)
Dominick Gravine (trombone on 01. + 08.)
Stephen M. Johns (tuba on 08.)
Elliot Levine (bass vocals on 10.)
Ray Lucas (drums on 01. + 10.)
Walter Kane (bassoon on 08.)
Josephine Mongiardo (soprano vocals on 10.)
Alan Rubin (trumpet on 08.)
Charles Russo (clarinet on 10.)
Russell Savakus (bass on 01. + 04.)
Daniel Waitzman (flute on 10.)
Joseph Wilder (trumpet on 01.)
William Zukof (countertenor vocals on 10.)
Charles McCracken – George Koutzen – George Ricci – Gloria Lanzarone – Jesse Levy – Kermit Moore – Lucien Schmit
Alfred Brown – David Sackson – Emanuel Vardi – Richard Maximoff – Selwart Clarke –  Seymour Berman
Arnold Eidus – Carmen Malignaggi – David Kunstler – Elliot Rosoff – Frederick Buldrini – Gene Orloff – Guy Lumia – Harold Kohon – Harry Cykman – Joseph Malignaggi – Kathryn Kienke – Lewis Eley – Norman Carr – Raoul Poliakin
french horn:
Earl Chapin – James Buffington – Ray Alonge – Tony Miranda
George Flynn (conducter)
Gene Orloff (concertmaster)


01. Britannia (Dowland) 3.58
02. Coranto For Mrs. Murcott (Pilkington) 1,30
03. The Earl Of Derby, His Galliard (Dowland) 2.00
04. House Of The King (Akkerman) 2.25
05. A Galliard (Holborne) 2.13
06. A Galliard (Dowland) 1.35
07. A Pavan (Morley) 3.07
08. Javeh (Akkerman/Flynn) 3.24
09. A Fantasy (Laurencini Of Rome) 3.22
10. Lammy: (14.01)
10.01. I Am (Flynn/Akkerman)
10.02.Asleep, Half Asleep, Awake (Akkerman)
10.03. She Is (Flynn/Akkerman)
10.04. Lammy (Flynn/Akkerman)
10.05. We Are (Flynn/Akkerman)
10.06. The Last Will And Testament (Holborne)
10.07. Amen (Flynn/Akkerman)




Trio Mediæval – Folk Songs (2007)

FrontCover1Corresponding with Trio Mediaeval’s tenth anniversary, their fourth ECM album is a powerful and compelling recording of Norwegian folk songs. Performed in concert over the years, these songs are always received ecstatically – this is the album that Trio Mediaeval’s fans have been waiting for. The infectious melodies and haunting harmonies of this music will communicate across categories to a very broad listenership. Joining the trio on several selections is percussionist Birger Mistereggen, a specialist in the Norwegian folk drumming tradition. The inclusion of percussion not only widens the sonic spectrum of the group, but also adds a rhythmic element to these ballads, hymns, psalms, love songs and lullabies. Founded in Oslo in 1997, the Norwegian- Swedish vocal group Trio Mediaeval was taken up the following year as protégés of the Hilliard Ensemble. Hilliard tenor singer John Potter was especially excited by their potential and brought the group to ECM, acting as producer or coproducer on each of their New Series discs, Words of the Angel, Soir, dit-elle and Stella Maris. Each of these recordings has had great success with fans and critics alike and the trio has maintained a consistent touring presence in the US and all over the world.

This wonderful trio of Scandinavian women, based in Oslo, has long tantalized audiences with samplings of Norwegian folk songs. Here, at last, is a full helping, infectious and addictive, as warm or meditative lyricism alternates with joyous friskiness (by James R. Oestreich).

Trio Mediæval01

I haven’t been enthusiastic about this ensemble of women singers, Trio Mediaeval, on their previous CDs, singing potpourris of chant and polyphony. Their voices are more individually interesting than those of the better-known Anonymous Four, but they’ve ‘schmalzed’ up the reverb and used other little gimmicks to trick themselves out as ‘spiritual-sounding.’ On this CD, however, they’ve tapped into their Norwegian roots, utilized the special vocal quality of Norwegian women singers, caught all the trollish mystery of ancient runes and isolated fiords. We Swedes depend on our Samii and Finnish singers for equally “weird” and heathenish vocal effects, but we can’t match the Norwegians. I’ve never heard this music before except when kayaking farm to farm on one of the northernmost fiords. Trio Mediaeval has saved something very deep and enchanting from oblivion. (by Gio)

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Anna Maria Friman (vocals)
Linn Andrea Fuglseth (vocals)
Torunn Østrem Ossum (vocals)
Birger Mistereggen (percussion, jew´s harp

01. Det Lisle Bånet (The Little Child) 4.43
02. So Ro, Godt Barn (Rest Now, Sweet Child) 3.07
03. Villemann Og Magnhild (Villemann And Magnhild) 1.49
04. Tjovane (The Thieves) 2.36
05. Nu Solen Går Ned (The Sun Is Setting) 3:56
06. I Mine Kåte Ungdomsdagar (In My Reckless, Youthful Days) 3.41
07. Gjendines Bådnlåt (Gjendine’s Lullaby) 3.52
08. Buremarsj Frå Gudbrandsdalen (Wedding March From Gudbrandsdalen) 3.05
09. Rolandskvadet (The Song Of Roland) 2.49
10. Solbønn (Sun-Prayer) 1.20
11. Eg Veit I Himmerik Ei Borg (I Know A Stronghold In Heaven) 2.57
12. Nu Vilar Hela Jorden (All The Earth Now Rests In Peace) 3.28
13. Springdans Fra Vestfold (Dance From Vestfold) 1.37
14. Eg Aktar Inkje (I Don’t Think Much Of Those Boys) 1.36
15. Den Elskte Jerusalem (Beloved Jerusalem) 3.24
16. Till, Till Tove 4.54
17. Lova Line 3.44
18. Danse, Ikke Gråte Nå (Dance, Do Not Cry Now) 1.58
19. Den Signede Dag (The Day Of Joy) 2.49
20. Folkefrelsar, Til Oss Kom (Saviour Of The Nations, Come) 3.02

CD1* (coming soon)


John Renbourn – The Lady And The Unicorn (1970)

FrontCover1The Lady and the Unicorn is the 1970 solo album by British folk musician John Renbourn. On this release, Renbourn ventures into folk rock and medieval music territory. The first four tracks are arranged from the Add MS 29987 manuscript. The cover was taken from The Lady and the Unicorn tapestry. (by wikipedia)

Renbourn’s last solo album for the next six years overlaps with his Pentangle work, featuring Terry Cox playing hand drums and glockenspiel, with future John Renbourn band member Tony Roberts and violinist Dave Swarbrick. The repertory consists of medieval and early classical pieces, interspersed with the expected folk material — keyboard works from the Fitzwilliam virginal book (transcribed for guitar) stand alongside traditional tunes such as “Scarborough Fair,” which turns up as part of an 11-minute track that also incorporates “My Johnny Was a Shoemaker,” with Swarbrick at the top of his form on violin. The album is entirely instrumental, but as with other Renbourn releases, one hardly misses the vocals. (by Bruce Eder)

John Renbourn

Taken from the original liner-notes:

This record contains a variety of instrumental pieces including medieval music, folk tunes and early classical music. The oldest are probably the English dance tune ‘Trotto’ and the Italian ‘Saltarello’, to which I have added a drone accompaniment, tuning the guitar to DGDGCD. ‘Lamento di Tristan’ and ‘La Rotta’ are fourteenth century Italian pieces played originally on vielle. They too are without harmony but have the tune doubled either on sitar or glockenspiel.
The three part conductus ‘Veri Floris’, composed during the Notre Dame period, is a setting for the words ‘Under the figure of the true flower which the pure root produced, the loving devotion of our clergy has made a mystical flower constructing an allegorical meaning beyond ordinary useage from the nature of a flower”.
This is followed by the triple ballade ‘Sancuer-Armordolens-Dameparvous’ of Guillaume de Machaut.
‘Bransle Gay’ and ‘Bransle de Bourgogne’ are from the danceries of Claude Gervaise, composed in about 1550. The first is played on solo guitar but the second uses flute, fiddle and has a second guitar line added. The anonymous ‘Alman’ is taken from the Fitzwilliam Virginal Book and is followed by ‘Melancholy Galliard’ by the English lutanist John Dowland. The sequence concludes with the ‘Sarabande’ in B Minor by J. S. Bach.
The album ends with two short guitar pieces, ‘The Lady And The Unicorn’ and an arrangement of the sixteenth century song ‘Westron Wynde’, and arrangements for flute, viola and guitar of two folk songs: ‘My Johnny Was A Shoemaker’ and ‘Scarborough Fair’.
I have not presumed to reproduce early music as it would originally have been played, but hope nevertheless that the qualities of the music can be enjoyed, though interpreted on more recent instruments. (John Rebourn)

Such a beautiful album … a timeless classic recording !

John Renbourn2

Don Harper (violin)
Lea Nicholson (concertina)
John Renbourn (guitar)
Tony Roberts (flute)
Dave Swarbrick (violin)
Ray Warleigh (flute)

01.1. Trotto (Anonymous) 0.40
01.2. Saltarrello (Anonymous) 1.53
02.1.Lamento di Tristan (Anonymous) 1.58
02.2.La Rotta (Anonymous) 0.55
03.1.Veri Floris (Anonymous) 0.44
03.2. Triple Ballade (Sanscuer-Amordolens-Dameparvous) (de Machaut) 2.00
04.1.Bransle Gay (Gervaise) 1.13
04.2.Bransle de Bourgogne (Johnson) 1.34
05.1.Alman (Anonymous)1.25
05.2.Melancholy Galliard (Dowland) 2.47
06.Sarabande (Bach) 2.41
07.The Lady And The Unicorn (Renbourn) 3.21
08.1.My Johnny Was A Shoemaker (Traditional) 4.16
08.2.Westron Wynde (Traditional) 1.25
08.3.Scarborough Fair (Traditional) 7.22




Les Musiciens des Saint Julien – The High Road To Kilkenny – Gælic Songs and Dances (2015)

FrontCover1The High Road to Kilkenny follows our recording of the complete fl ute sonatas of J. S. Bach (Alpha 186).
My research on the diversity of musical phrasing at the time of Bach, in the light of period documents and more especially of the Solfeggi of J. J. Quantz, resonates with that of living Irish music.
This programme is the outcome of a patient exploration of the musical sources, composed in Ireland chiefly in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and published in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and of the original sung texts. For the sake of variety I have chosen works belonging to different genres, with an extremely refi ned and skilled repertory of settings of poetry (Lord Mayo, Sir Ulick Burke, among others) and a lighter repertory of songs and dances (Do Chuirfi nnse Féin Mo Leanbh a Chodladh, Oro Mhor a Mhoirin, Kitty’s Wishes).
I discovered Irish music and its performing practice around twenty years ago, when I was still a student in Barthold Kuijken’s Baroque flute class in Brussels. To attune one’s ear to the demands of an oral tradition was an eminently complementary training to what we were taught at the conservatory.
I have joyful memories of my fi rst backpacking trip around the Emerald Isle in the late 1990s. What an enchantment! The verdant landscapes, the fairytale (though fl eeting!) moments when the sun came out, the atmospheres so different from anything I’d known elsewhere are engraved on my memory.
And, above all, the hospitality and the musical encounters were particularly rich and enlightening in this country where music has remained a way of life. But this ‘popular’ practice shouldn’t obscure the fact that the old harper-poets like Turlough O’Carolan and his predecessors played for ‘polite society’: the music they left us is the music of the aristocracy.
It is with joy that I share these emotions of different kinds today with listeners to this latest production of Les Musiciens de Saint-Julien. (liner notes, written by François Lazarevitch)

Les Musiciens des Saint Julien01

After For Ever Fortune (Alpha Classics, 2010), this second incursion of Les Musiciens de Saint-Julien in Celtic lands, The High Road to Kilkenny, combines refined, ‘highbrow’ pieces along with an entertaining repertoire of songs in Gælic and dances from the Irish Baroque.

Embodied in a language, dances and emblematic instruments, Irish music also bears in it the mark of an insular pœtry and a turbulent history. Thus, it is to these that this exhilarating, entrancing programme bears witness, and for which François Lazarevitch went back to original texts and collections of the 18th and 19th centuries. Varied couplets, lullabies, minstrel songs and hymns to Nature relate and dance to themes of love, infidelity, and the seasons as well as occupation and exile.

François Lazarevitch

François Lazarevitch

Sensitive to interpreting this repertoire today, short of the picturesque or ossified codes, Les Musiciens de Saint-Julien find inspiration in the art of phrasing and ornamentation taught in numerous Baroque treatises, the energy and pœtry of period instruments, and the mix of musical traditions and sources. Here they are at home at the table of the great Irish names of the 17th and 18th centuries, and once again cross paths with one of their faithful partners: tenor Robert Getchell, very much present on the Baroque lyric stage and impassioned by different kinds of Irish music.

What a great album … music from centuries many years ago …  but still a fascinating music !

Les Musiciens des Saint Julien02

Lucile Boulanger (viola da gamba)
Marie Bournisien (harp)
Caitlín Nic Gabhann (dance)
Robert Getchell (vocals)
David Greenberg (violin)
Bruno Helstroffer (theorbo, lute)
François Lazarevitch (flute, tin whistle, smallpipes)
Bill Taylor (harp)

Bruno Helstroffer.jpg
Bruno Helstroffer

01. Óró Mhór a Mhóirín – The Gorum 4.48
02. Sir Uillioc de Búrca 4.44
03. An Drumadóir 2.39
04. Cuckold Come Out the Amery 4.15
05. Edward Corcoran 2.37
06. Síle Bheag Ní Chonnalláin 3.09
07. Sir Arthur Shaen – Colonel Irwin – Clonmell Lassies – The Scolding Wife 5.12
08. Tiarna Mhaigh Eo 6.10
09. Soggarth Shamus O’Finn 3.29
10. When She Cam Ben, She Bobbit – Kitty’s Wishes 5.09
11. Do Chuirfinnse Féin Mo Leanbh a Chodladh 3.42
12. The Banks Of Barrow 3.41
13. James Betagh – Lady Wrixon 4.03
14. O’Neill’s Riding Barrack Hill – Petrie No. 94 – Irish Air 4.13
15. King Of The Blind 3.18
16. Molly Nic Ailpín 3.25
17. The Cunning Young Man 1.32
18. The High Road To Kilkenny – Toss the Feathers – The Mill Stream – Money Musk 3.19

Lucile Boulanger

Lucile Boulanger



Barbara Thompson – Songs From The Center Of The Earth (1991)

FrontCover1Multi-instrumentalist, Barbara Thompson, studied at London’s Royal Academy of Music. In the mid 70s, she worked as a session saxophonist on numerous jazz and rock albums. During that time, she also completed three works for jazz and classical players commissioned by the BBC. In 1977, Thompson formed the jazz fusion group, Paraphernalia, which recorded several albums and gained a loyal following throughout Europe. Thompson also played with a nineteen-piece big band called Moving Parts, comprised of some of the finest young players in the United Kingdom. Other projects include work with the Jon Hiseman Quartet and the United Jazz & Rock Ensemble, a ten-piece group featuring Kenny Wheeler, Wolfgang Dauner and Charlie Mariano.

BarbaraThompson (2)

Songs from the Center of the Earth is a solo recording by veteran British jazz saxophonist, composer and band leader, Barbara Thompson. On Songs from the Center of the Earth, the rich yet plaintive sounds of Thompson’s saxophones seem to ring through the mists of time. Her compelling solo improvisations on ancient melodies were recorded over two hot summer nights in August 1990 at the historic Abbey du Thoronet in Var, Provence, France. I have long thought that folk songs lie dormant at the center of us until recognition is triggered by an experience,’ she says. ‘As the Abbey dates back to medieval times, I thought it fitting to play traditional church and folk pieces from all over the world, some of which are older than the Abbey itself.’ The warm, resonant setting enhances Thompson’s updated interpretations of Irish airs, twelth century Crusade chants, Syrian love ballads, ancient Spanish cradle songs and folk melodies from Greece, Germany, Jamaica, Brazil and Uruguay. Performing on soprano, alto and tenor saxophones, Thompson draws on her extensive jazz background to embellish this music with expressive pitch bends and glissandos that bring these age-old tunes firmly into the twentieth century. Sometimes gently reminiscent, sometimes powerful in their evocation of timeless emotions, Thompson’s masterful improvisations provide an eloquent commentary on the past.’

This is a definitve masterpiece by Barbara Thompson ! ! !


Barbara Thompson (saxophone)


01. Fanaid Grove 3.39
02. Nobilis Humilis 4.44
03. Chanterai Por Mon Coraige (I would be singing for Consolation) 4.12
04. Al Ya Zane (Oh Thou Zane) 5.07
05. Cancion De Cuna 3.30
06. Toriad Y Dydd (Day-Break) 4.32
07. Suspira Coracao Triste (My Heart is Heavy with Sadness) 2.37
08. Whereto Should I Express 3.03
09. Estilo 3.50
10. O My Love How Long 3.14
11. Winder Wie Ist No Dien Kraft (Winter Now Your End is Near) 4.26
12. I Can’t Stay in Egypt Lan’ 2.57
13. De Ribber Ben Come Dung 4.08
14. Down By the Sally Gardens 3.21




Comments to the music:

Track 1: This is a traditional Irish ballad describing the sad tale of a young girl and her baby, rejected by her lover and left out on the cold mountainside to die.
Track 2: 12th Century Hymn to St. Magnus, Earl of Orkney.
Track 3: 12th Century song of the Crusades sung by the lonely and anxious women left behind at their spinning and weaving, while the men fought in the land of the Saracens.
Track 4: Syrian Love Song. The literal meaning of “Zane-il-Abedeen” is “fairest of all the worshippers”.
Track 5: Ancient Spanish cradlesong.
Track 6: Traditional Welsh song.
Track 7: A Brazilian modhina, an urban love song of deep sentiment and passionate yearning.
Track 8: King Henry VIII of England (1491-1547).
Track 9: This song commemorates Jose Artiga, the national hero of Uruguay, and has two moods, the first slow and pensive, and the second faster and more spirited.
Track 10: Greek folk song.
Track 11: German troubadour song attributed to Neidhart von Ruental ca. 1190-1240.
Track 12: Bahamian spiritual of African origin, combining elements of protest and yearning for freedom.
Track 13: Jamaican digging song.
Track 14: Based on the Irish air, The Maid of Mourne Shor, with lyrics by W. B. Yeats.


Mandel Quartet – Same (1988)

FrontCover1Founded in 1981 the Mandel Quartet was established to perform rarely heard gems from the 16th-17th centuries in unique and unexpected instrumental ensembles. In the subsequent three decades the consistently popular quartet has participated in the world’s leading festivals, with over 2000 concerts from Brazil to Mexico, the USA to Europe, and on to Israel and Russia. Their music appears on 30 CDs and they have been heard by tens of millions in high-profile radio and TV broadcasts. The Ensemble’s founder and leader, Robert Mandel, started as organologist and restorer of instruments interested in the revival of some of the more unusual instruments in the Renaissance instrumentarium. The vielle, (Drehleier, zanfona, ghironda or tekerőlant) one of the most provocative instruments in the history of music, began its career as one of the most important church instruments. Traveling minstrels then took it up because it served well to accompany songs. In the eighteenth century the French aristocracy discovered it and converted it into a status symbol, but after 1789 it fell from grace and its courtly players were scattered across eastern Europe where they ended up performing with local folk musicians.

RobertMandelRóbert Mandel

Their descendants still played regularly in Vienna through the end of nineteenth century and traveled regularly to neighboring countries. The instrument’s history took yet another turn in the latter half of the twentieth century when it was discovered by young musicians seeking to save remnants of the musical past. These musicians (Robert Mandel among the first of them) saved the vielle from oblivion and popularized this wonderful instrument in their concerts. Today the vielle is played by tens of thousands of individuals and, thanks to Robert Mandel and others, the vielle is now a frequent guest at festivals, workshops, and other musical programs around the world.

Reestablished in 2012 with new members, the Mandel Quartet works with internationally renowned artists. The ensemble’s repertoire and performances center on the sound of the vielle, played by Robert Mandel, giving the quartet a fundamentally different character from the world’s other early music ensembles. Its programs frequently feature relatively unknown selections from collections of Central European courtly Renaissance music.

This is their debut album from 1988 and it´s fascinating how fresh and beautiful these unique compositions sound – composed many, many centuries ago ! Unbelieveable !

László Jakobi (rebec, cello)
Gábor Kállay (rebec, recorder)
Róbert Mandel (hurdy gurdy, symphonia, lute)
István Márta (percussion, tambourine, harpsichord)
Boldizsár Keönch (vocals)
Zoltán Rácz (chime bells, tambourine)

01. Mediaeval Dances (Traditional) 5.17
02. French Renaissance Dances (Gervaise) 4.52
03. Medieval Chants (Traditional) 3.57
04. Dances From The “Dancerye ” Collection (Susato) 4.22
05. Les Fleurs Op. 4 (Delavigne) 6.36
06. Sonata Prima (Castello) 5.09
07. Trio Sonata In C Major (Naudot) 7.59
08. Greensleeves To A Ground – Variations (Tradtional) 4.24
09. Sonata In C Major “Il Pastor Fido” (Vivaldi) 12.17
10. Hungarian Dances from the Pozsony Manuscript (Traditional) 3.59
11. Hadju Dances (Traditional) 5.45

* (coming soon)