Medieval Songs and Dances

The introductory note does have the benefit of explaining something of the interpretation of the music: why director John Southcott chose the instruments featured on the disc and, again very briefly, what factors he took into consideration when coming to the renditions presented here. Works featured on this disc range from the late twelfth-century French troubadour pastourelle L’autrier m’iere levaz, through works from the thirteenth-century Cantigas de Santa Maria and English thirteenth-century songs, to the opening and closing works, Lamento di Tristano and Tre fontane, both fourteenth-century Italian pieces.

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Most, if not all, of the pieces presented here will be familiar to lovers of early music. They appeared on a number of discs since the release of these CRD discs. These are nevertheless very good recordings of the works, fresh and full of vitality and conviction. The performance style is generally fairly rude and rustic, which of course suits the music perfectly. The performers bring out well the various moods of the works, from raucous and celebratory through to tender and beautiful. Em Marshall-Luck, MusicWeb

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