Miriam Allan / Echo du Danube

The Wonders of the World: An English Mosaic

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The Wonders of the World: An English Mosaic Review

by Stephen Eddins

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