Philip Pickett / New London Consort

Praetorius: Dances from Terpsichore

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AllMusic Review by

Philip Pickett and the New London Consort created a sensation in the early music world of the 1980s with this sublime recording of dances from Michael Praetorius' Terpsichore (1612); the album was so highly regarded, these exceptional performers eventually received praise in the online New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians for their "majestic rendering" of these quintessential Renaissance pieces. A colleague of David Munrow, Pickett was one of the leading figures in the movement for authentic performance practice, and his thorough study of German instruments from the time enabled him to re-create with reasonable fidelity the sonorities and inflections of the music, as it credibly might have been heard. The New London Consort, numbering 40 players for this recording, presented Pickett the fullest possible range of period instruments indicated in Praetorius' Syntagma musicum, so he was able to select from a wide assortment of strings, winds, and percussion, and notably included shawms, rackets, and crumhorns. The resultant sound is marvelously colorful and sometimes delightfully coarse, and the lively spirit of the performances makes this music feel like the real thing, unlike stiff, out-of-tune, and poorly played renditions of the 1960s and '70s that reflected little musicality and historical understanding. Add to the magnificence of the ensemble and the magic of the performances the glorious sound quality of the clearest all-digital recording, and this album must be considered essential listening and one of the most stirring musical experiences anyone can hope to have, in any category, genre, or style.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
Terpsichore Dances
1 03:36
2 01:55
3 01:58
Terpsichore Dances
4 04:27
5 04:02
6 02:58
Terpsichore Dances
7 03:19
8 03:20
9 01:19
Terpsichore Dances
10 05:47
11 01:47
Terpsichore Dances
12 05:20
13 01:43
Terpsichore Dances
14 05:01
15 03:51
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