Los Ministriles in the New World is an appealing collection from Piffaro "The Renaissance Band" of instrumental music that would have been known and performed in the 16th and 17th centuries in Latin America in the region extending from Mexico to Peru. Spanish and Portuguese sacred and secular music thrived in the New World as composers and performers emigrated west, and the area had a robust musical culture that also drew on indigenous musical traditions. Piffaro is a diverse ensemble made up of a colorful assortment of instruments -- recorders, bagpipes, shawms, dulcians, sackbuts, harp, plucked and bowed strings, and percussion -- so the album has a wonderful timbral variety, ranging from duets like Zarambeques for harp and vihuela to pieces like Deus in adiutorium meum intende, which employs all the group's members. The repertoire, too, is varied, including transcriptions of sacred vocal music and songs, instrumental pieces and popular dances. The album makes it clear which instruments perform on which tracks, a helpful guide for listeners unfamiliar with some of the more exotic instruments. The sound is bright and lively. This is an album that should be attractive to fans of early music and it makes an excellent, friendly introduction to music of the era for other listeners willing to dip into new territory.
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AllMusic Review by Stephen Eddins
|Missa "Si bona suscepimus"|