This is a recording of great interest, for which Jordi Savall merits the thanks of anyone curious to know more about medieval music. Provided, that is, that he knows that what he hears is purely conjectural. In the absence of sufficiently detailed written descriptions and the whole present-day rapidly developing skills and techniques associated with the art of recording, how can one possibly know how music might have sounded at the end of the 12th century and up to the first quarter of the 14th?
There is much repetition, but constant variation gives life to the whole manner of performance, especially when brought to us through the excellent playing and direction ofJordi Savall. Indeed, many of the melodies are hauntinglyRead more beautiful in their simplicity. Savall catches the spirit of this and adds his own discoveries. Most of the Danses start with a sedate, somewhat formal introduction, leading more often than not to a brisk, "no nonsense" andante. Music for dancing involves the pitch and volume of sound, but there is one other essential quality that must be taken into account: namely movement. In the case of the Estampies & Danses Royals very little imagination is required to picture in one's mind the ending of one piece and the beginning of the next, with its own particular features of social decorum. Highly recommended.