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Praetorius: Dances From Terpsichore / Philip Pickett, Et Al


Release Date: 01/08/2008 
Label:  L'oiseau Lyre   Catalog #: 001047502   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Michael Praetorius
Performer:  Philip PickettAndrew WattsDavid RoblouPenny Pay,   ... 
Conductor:  Philip Pickett
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New London Consort
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

R E V I E W S of the original release, l'Oiseau Lyre 414633

"This is pure sizzle and great fun from beginning to end. The massive collection of French court dances that Michael Praetorius collected and arranged for his volume entitled Terpsichore in 1612 was just one in the extraordinary series of publications he issued within only 15 years...Rackets, shawms, Rauschpfeifen, many kinds of stringed instruments and much else are all chronicled here. And the music in Terpsichore is tailor-made for an imaginative and rich display showing the varied sounds of one of music's most colourful eras. In presenting this selection with a daunting array of different instruments and ensembles, Philip Pickett follows a tradition inherited
Read more from the German Collegium Terpsicore via David Munrow and many others. But this may be the first such record devoted entirely to the Terpsichore collection...
In all, there is a massive cast of nearly 40 musicians taking part, among them some of the most admired early-instrument names in London. There is any number of absolutely delicious sounds; and the groups are juxtaposed with quick-silver elegance. The performances include some imaginative departures from the sketchy details of Praetorius's harmonizations, though it is odd that so little embellishment was used. Perhaps that is a function of the functional 1980s, which here seems to avoid the kind of individual showing-off that made some of the earlier Terpsichore recordings so exciting. Here the excitement is in the vitality and cleanness of the ensemble sound..."

David Fallows, The GRAMOPHONE

This is a classic. Over twenty years old, it represents what to many listeners fifteen years into the ‘early music’ revival of the early 1970s expected to hear: crumhorns, drone, simple percussive accompaniment and hurdy-gurdies. That’s on the one hand …

But on the other, Pickett and the wonderful New London Consort really were at the cutting edge of what was being done – at least in Britain – at that time. Many will remember Picketts’s Pageants from just after this CD was first released: it was in 1988 that Philip Pickett became Director of London’s Southbank Summerscope Festival of Mediaeval and Renaissance Music and the NLC caused something of a stir by their consistency, vigour and by the sheer joy and vitality they brought to what for many was still esoteric and ‘off-beat’.

The ‘Dances From Terpsichore’ had already become somewhat emblematic of the European Renaissance instrumental tradition. Crisp, short and punchy, eminently danceable and above all extrovert, they were conveyed as midway between the ceremonial brass music of Gabrieli and somehow more dignified than the Basse dance and its successors, both of which were also receiving popular recordings at that time.

Just as in his monumental Syntagma Musicum, Praetorius had tried to record everything that was known at that time about music and instruments, so in ‘Dances from Terpsichore’, he collected and arranged examples of popular dances. Nothing in the result is especially thought-provoking or likely to leave one’s emotions reeling. But the music makes a certain impact… the sounds of the instruments, the varied rhythms, the tunefulness.

Pickett with the NLC points these up and brings them to our attention in a professional, rather than a playful way. The result is – despite our familiarity with the music – that it has a certain freshness in their hands, which is bound to please. The gentle ornamentation in the little ‘Sarabande’ (tr 13) and the forward movement in the ‘volte’s (especially the penultimate track), for example, are truly terpsichorean.

It’s unlikely you’d want to sit your way through the CD day in day out in search of highly original and moving music. But, granted the selection Pickett has made and the high level of precise but energetic music-making, you’d not be disappointed either if you were new to this kind of music, or you wanted upbeat and unpretentious instrumental music by a superb craftsperson played with sensitivity and gusto.

Mark Sealey, MusicWeb International
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Works on This Recording

1.
Terpsichore: Excerpt(s) by Michael Praetorius
Conductor:  Philip Pickett
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New London Consort
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1612; Germany 
Date of Recording: 03/1985 
2.
Terpsichore: no 32, La Bourée by Michael Praetorius
Performer:  Philip Pickett (Curtal), Andrew Watts (Curtal), David Roblou (Regal),
Penny Pay (Curtal)
Conductor:  Philip Pickett
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New London Consort
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1612; Germany 
Date of Recording: 03/1985 
3.
Terpsichore: no 15, Bransle de la torche by Michael Praetorius
Performer:  David Roblou (Regal)
Conductor:  Philip Pickett
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New London Consort
Period: Renaissance 
Date of Recording: 03/1985 
Notes: Arranger: Philip Pickett. 
4.
Terpsichore: no 14, Bransle de Villages by Michael Praetorius
Performer:  Pavlo Beznosiuk (Violin), Anthony Pleeth (Cello), Jan Schlapp (Viola),
Paula Chateauneuf (Lute), Simon Standage (Violin), Anette Isserlis (Viola),
Richard Hunt (Bass Viola da gamba), Nigel Eaton (Hurdy-gurdy), Tom Finucane (Lute)
Conductor:  Philip Pickett
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New London Consort
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1612; Germany 
Date of Recording: 03/1985 
5.
Terpsichore: Philou by Michael Praetorius
Performer:  Anette Isserlis (Viola), Simon Standage (Violin), Jan Schlapp (Viola),
Pavlo Beznosiuk (Violin)
Conductor:  Philip Pickett
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New London Consort
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1612; Germany 
Date of Recording: 03/1985 
6.
Terpsichore: no 30, Pavane de Spaigne by Michael Praetorius
Conductor:  Philip Pickett
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New London Consort
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1612; Germany 
Date of Recording: 03/1985 
Notes: This selection is part of a medley which also includes "Terpsichore: no 9, Spagnioletta." 
7.
Terpsichore: no 9, Spagnioletta by Michael Praetorius
Conductor:  Philip Pickett
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New London Consort
Date of Recording: 03/1985 
Notes: This selection is part of a medley which also includes "Terpsichore: no 30, Pavane de Spaigne." 
8.
Terpsichore: Passameze pour les cornetz by Michael Praetorius
Performer:  Richard Cheetham (Sackbut), Paul Nieman (Sackbut), Stephen Saunders (Sackbut),
Kenneth Hamilton (Sackbut)
Conductor:  Philip Pickett
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New London Consort
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1612; Germany 
Date of Recording: 03/1985 

Sound Samples

Dances from Terpsichore: Passameze; Galliarde
Dances from Terpsichore: La Bouree
Dances from Terpsichore: Bransle de la Torche
Dances from Terpsichore: Bransle de la Torche
Dances from Terpsichore: Bransle simples/gay/double
Dances from Terpsichore: Bransles de Villages
Dances from Terpsichore: Philou
Dances from Terpsichore: Ballet des Sorciers; Ballet des Princesses; Ballet
Dances from Terpsichore: Ballet / Ballet des Bacchanales / Ballet des Matelotz / Ballet des Coqs
Dances from Terpsichore: Pavane de Spaigne; Spagnoletta
Dances from Terpsichore: Passameze pour les Cornetz
Dances from Terpsichore: Courante; Courante; Courrant de Bataglia
Dances from Terpsichore: La Sarabande
Dances from Terpsichore: 4 Voltes
Dances from Terpsichore: 4 Voltes

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