SACD & Other Hi-Res Reviews

“Nine Notes That Shook the World” [TrackList follows] – Ronn McFarlane & Mindy Rosenfeld – various Renaissance, Celtic & Baroque instruments – (Sono Luminus audio-only Blu-ray & CD)

Again intimate music receives the regal treatment and benefits greatly by it.

Published on September 9, 2013

“Nine Notes That Shook the World” – Ronn McFarlane – Renaissance and Baroque flutes/ Mindy Rosenfeld – Renaissance, Baroque, and Celtic flutes, fifes, harp, and bagpipe – Sono Luminus Pure Audio Blu-ray (7.1, 5.1 or 2.0) + standard CD DSL-92169, 75:45 [Distr. by Naxos] (6/25/13) ****1/2:

Lutenist Ronn McFarlane and instrumentalist Mindy Rosenfeld are best known as founding members of the Baltimore Consort, now almost a legendary cult group that recorded many memorable discs for the now-bought-up Dorian label. Sono Luminus, created by Cisco Systems founders Sandy Lerner and Len Bosack, is an advanced step up on the Dorian label which it acquired, creating Blu-ray audio discs of superb quality, and coupling some of them with standard CDs as well, which makes it nice for portable listening. Make no mistake—the CD is excellent, but the Blu-ray with lossless surround is outstanding.

The title Nine Notes that Shook the World is a bit deceptive. One might be expecting something revealing or mysterious considering the title, but it’s actually taken from the source of a Scottish tune, ”Dorrington Lads”, found in the William Dixon manuscript from a collection named as the title of this album. The rest of the disc is a mixture of classical and folk, reflecting the fact that at the same time composers like Bach and Handel were composing there was a vibrant and rich heritage of Scottish music being created only a few hundred miles from their habitats. The program works beautifully, and both artists play with the same grace, style, and panache to which we have become accustomed.  [In spite of the Amazon cover illustration, this came packaged in a standard-size double-CD jewel box, which seems to me the best way to package these Pure Audio Blu-rays...Ed.]

TrackList:

Green Inn (John Adson)/My Lord Willoughby’s Welcome Home (John Dowland)
Brando di Cles (Cesare Negri)/Passo e mezzo (Fabrizio Caroso di Sermoneta)
My Lady Carey’s Dompe/Lady Wynkfield’s Rownde
Rondeau dans Zaide (Michel Blavet)
Sonata in G Major (George F. Handel)
Andante  (BWV 1034) (J.S. Bach)
The Thistle (James Oswald)
The Laurel (James Oswald)
Dorrington Lads (traditional)
Passemeze (Adrian Le Roy)
Premier Suite in E minor (J.B. de Boismortier)
Minuetto and Variations (Pietro Locatelli)
Sitting in the Stern of the Boat/Thugamar/Road to Lisdoonvarna/Star Above the Garter/Carnac (traditional)
Branles de Village (Robert Ballard)

 —Steven Ritter




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