Classical CD Reviews

“Terpsichore: Muse of the Dance” = Dances by Michael PRAETORIUS and William BRADE – Julien Martin, recorder/ Doron Sherwin, cornet/ Capriccio Stravagante Renaissance Orch./ Skip Sempé – Paradizo

Something like René Clemencic on French Harmonia mundi 30 years ago, but less wild and not quite as audiophile.

Published on December 29, 2012

“Terpsichore: Muse of the Dance” = Dances by Michael PRAETORIUS and William BRADE – Julien Martin, recorder/ Doron Sherwin, cornet/ Capriccio Stravagante Renaissance Orch./ Skip Sempé – Paradizo

“Terpsichore: Muse of the Dance” = Dances by Michael PRAETORIUS and William BRADE – Julien Martin, recorder/ Doron Sherwin, cornet/ Capriccio Stravagante Renaissance Orch./ Skip Sempé – Paradizo PA0011, 63:27 [Distr. by Harmonia mundi] ****(*): 

After listening to 30 dances (out of a total of 300) from the iconic 1612 publication called Terpsichore on Capriccio Stravagante Renaissance Orchestra’s collection of violins, viols, recorders (five, count ‘em, five), cornetti, sackbuts, lutes, harps, harpsichords, virginals, organs, regals and percussion, one can readily agree with Skip Sempé’s belief in the music’s credentials as art music. Accordingly, what is typically presented as series of irresistibly cute and brief ditties, whose popularity began to soar in the early hippy days, is now presented as a series of instrumental reflections on a series of similarly-conceived and intended dance tunes. Something like what René Clemencic was creating for French Harmonia mundi 30 years ago, but less wild and not quite as audiophile.

The Orchestra’s brilliantly successful first album, musical interludes from a glamorous Medici wedding in Florence in 1589, showed that the orchestra, founded by Skip Sempé from his smaller Capriccio Stravagante ensemble, were working according to expanded notions of the physical color and excitement that contemporary audiences are expected to enjoy.

Recorded in an uncredited Hamburg studio, the sound needs either volume or an extremely live system to start hearing the exquisite detail and color that is being lavished on each miniature gem, only three of which is more than three minutes long. In a serious, well-elucidated and persuasive essay, Sempé charts out his interest in de-generezing the music of Terpsichore, although I think it will raise in the mind of the curious reader more questions than it settles.

TrackList:

Ballo I
Praetorius: Passameze – 3 Gaillardes – 3 Ballets
Brade: Ein schottish Tanz
Ballo II
Praetorius: Ballet – Bransles de Poictou – L’Espagnolette – Bransle de la Torche
Brade: Paduano & Galliard
Anonymous: When Daphne from fair Phoebus did fly
Ballo III
Brade: Canzon – Naglein Blumen – 2 Galliards – Allmand
Praetorius: La Bouree – Gavottes
Ballo IV
Brade: Paduano – Allmand – Galliard
Praetorius: Spagnoletta – 2 Courantes – Bransle de Village – Volte
Moritz Landgraf von Hessen: Paduana
Anthony Holborne: Heigh ho holiday
John Bennet: Venus’ Birds

- Laurence Vittes




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