Miriam Allan / Echo du Danube

The Wonders of the World: An English Mosaic

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English Renaissance masques were extravagant, evening-long entertainments compiled of various songs and dances loosely organized around a plot or theme. Little is known about John Maynard (1577-1633), who wrote a set of songs titled The XII Wonders of the World, which forms the framework around which this masque is reconstructed. This version incorporates works by John Dowland, Matthew Locke, Thomas Morley, John Playford, and an exquisite ballad by Richard Edwards, so the quality of the music is consistently high. Although there is no explicit attribution, it can be assumed that the reconstruction was made by or for the Austrian instrumental ensemble Echo du Danube, which performs it here. The group is joined by soprano Miriam Allan, who performs the songs with pure but robust tone and an infectious sense of playfulness. The same spirit informs the instrumental performances, which sparkle with fun and exuberance. Narrator Rob Wyn Jones contributes several selections from Shakespeare plays that have little apparent relevance to the rest of the proceedings. The sound of the SACD is bright and clear, with a good sense of presence.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 02:47 Amazon
Henry V, play
2 01:03 Amazon
3 01:35 Amazon
4 02:12 Amazon
5 01:58 Amazon
6 01:12 Amazon
7 01:46 Amazon
8 00:57 Amazon
9 01:58 Amazon
10 01:45 Amazon
11 05:02 Amazon
12 01:37 Amazon
13 00:50 Amazon
Henry VI, play
14 00:39 Amazon
15 02:15 Amazon
16 02:30 Amazon
17 01:35 Amazon
18 02:28 Amazon
19 01:51
20 00:32
21 01:52 Amazon
22 01:04 Amazon
23 01:12 Amazon
24 01:58 Amazon
25 01:51 Amazon
26 02:35 Amazon
27 00:59 Amazon
28 02:12 Amazon
29 00:49 Amazon
30 01:39 Amazon
31 02:30 Amazon
Work(s)
32 03:13 Amazon
33 00:53 Amazon
34 03:01 Amazon
35 02:05 Amazon
36 00:22 Amazon
37 02:58
blue highlight denotes track pick