David Munrow

Biography

Born: August 12, 1942; Birmingham, England   Died: May 15, 1976; Chesham Bois, England  
David John Munrow, in his brief career, was one of the most exciting and influential leaders of the British early music movement. After he completed his school education, he taught for a year in South America. He returned to England to attend Pembroke College, Cambridge, where he read for a degree in English from 1961 to 1964. He was an avid and talented flute player and while at Cambridge founded an organization to play early music. After he Read more graduated, he studied seventeenth century music at Birmingham University. It was his exposure to South American indigenous music, with its strong use of wooden instruments of the flute family, that stimulated his interest in such instruments, including the recorder.

At that time, interest in England in early music was growing. Munrow found himself in great demand as a recorder player. In 1967, he founded the Early Music Consort of London, with counter tenor James Bowman, violist Oliver Brookes, lutenist James Tyler, and harpsichordist Christopher Hogwood. They gave their first performance at Louvain the same year, making a London debut in 1968. Also in 1967, he became a lecturer in early music at Leicester University. Munrow's consort shook up the regular concert world and the growing early music establishment with its performing style. Their approach was entertaining, attractive, and exuberant, even brash, without traducing the boundaries of what was known to be authentic. Suddenly, "authentic" performances were no longer scholarly affairs of main interest to academics, but popular concert events eagerly attended by the general classical music audience.

The Consort appeared on television and in an intriguing development, the group also kept an interest in contemporary music. Therefore, several living composers wrote new music -- often in the most advanced musical style -- for these old-style instruments. These included Peter Dickinson (Translations, 1971), Elisabeth Lutyens (The Tears of Night, 1972), and Peter Maxwell Davies, who used the group as the on-stage band during his opera Taverner (1972), which is about a medieval English composer.

In 1969, Munrow became a teacher of the recorder at London's Royal Academy of Music. In 1971, he started making lecture appearances on BBC radio. His show, "Pied Piper," was aimed at young listeners and had a listenership among all ages. For reasons that remain obscure, he took his own life in 1976. Had he not, he surely would have been recognized as one of the most influential musicians of the last half of the twentieth century. Read less
Browse 1-19 of 19 Available Recordings
  • 1.
    Archiv Produktion: Analogue Stereo Recordings (1959-1981)
    Label: Archiv Produktion (Dg)   Catalog: 002490502 Release Date: 05/20/2016   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Pierre Vachon,  Nicolas-Marie Dalayrac,  George Frideric Handel  ... 
    Performer:  Maria Stader,  Hedwig Bilgram,  Hertha Töpper,  Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau  ... 
    Conductor:  Karl Richter,  August Wenzinger,  Karl Ristenpart,  Robert Stehli  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Bach Orchestra,  Munich Bach Choir,  Loewenguth String Quartet  ... 
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    CD: $106.49
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  • 2.
    111: The Collector's Editions [111 CDs]
    Label: Dg Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002422702 Release Date: 12/11/2015   Number of Discs: 111
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Maurice Ravel,  Felix Mendelssohn  ... 
    Performer:  David Oistrakh,  Igor Oistrakh,  Sviatoslav Richter,  Martha Argerich  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado,  Daniel Barenboim,  Lorin Maazel,  Franz Konwitschny  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Amadeus Quartet,  Orchestre de Paris  ... 
    CD: $325.49
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  • 3.
    The History of Classical Music in 24 Hours
    Label: Dg Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002403602 Release Date: 11/13/2015   Number of Discs: 24
    Composer:  Anonymous,  Pérotin,  Guillaume de Machaut,  John Dunstable  ... 
    Performer:  Konrad Ragossnig,  Charles [Tenor Vocals] Daniels,  Susan Gritton,  Trevor Pinnock  ... 
    Conductor:  Pater Godehard Joppich,  David Munrow,  Josef Ulsamer,  Bruno Turner  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Early Music Consort of London,  Ulsamer-Collegium,  Hamburger Bläserkreis für Alte Musik  ... 
    CD: $75.49
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  • 4.
    Archiv Produktion 1947-2013
    Label: Archiv Produktion (Dg)   Catalog: 001833572 Release Date: 06/18/2013   Number of Discs: 55
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Anonymous,  Adam de la Halle,  Raimbaut de Vaqeiras  ... 
    Performer:  Helmut Walcha,  Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau,  Hermann Töttcher,  Maria Jung  ... 
    Conductor:  Karl Ristenpart,  Fritz Lehmann,  Maurus Pfaff,  Safford Cape  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Karl Ristenpart Chamber Orchestra,  Bach Festival Orchestra,  Frankfurt Music School Chorus  ... 
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    CD: $175.49
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  • 5.
    Glorious Majesty – Music for English Kings and Queens
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 27285 Release Date: 04/24/2012   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Henry Purcell,  Sir Edward Elgar,  Sir William Walton  ... 
    Performer:  Benjamin Bayl,  Alastair Ross,  Oliver Brookes,  Christopher Hogwood  ... 
    Conductor:  Stephen Cleobury,  David Munrow,  Roger Norrington,  Philip Ledger  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Early Music Consort of London
    Recommendation
    CD: $24.99
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  • 6.
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 828262 Release Date: 11/01/2011   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Henry Purcell  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Charles Mackerras,  Sir Neville Marriner,  Wolfgang Gönnenwein,  David Munrow  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Chamber Orchestra,  Ambrosian Singers,  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields  ... 
    CD: $19.99
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  • 7.
    Best Choruses 100
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 80416 Release Date: 11/01/2011   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Henry Purcell  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Charles Mackerras,  Sir Neville Marriner,  Wolfgang Gönnenwein,  David Munrow  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Chamber Orchestra,  Ambrosian Singers,  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields  ... 
    CD: $21.99
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  • 8.
    Best Wedding 50
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 48501 Release Date: 04/19/2011   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Jeremiah Clarke,  Richard Wagner,  Giovanni Battist Martini,  Norwegian Traditional  ... 
    Performer:  Maurice André,  Jane Parker-Smith,  Frederic Bayco,  Ole Edvard Antonsen  ... 
    Conductor:  Stephen Cleobury,  Sir David Willcocks,  Kenneth Montgomery,  David Munrow  ... 
    CD: $11.99
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  • 9.
    Praetorius: Musae Sionae, Dances, Motets / Munrow
    Label: Emi Studio   Catalog: 769024 Release Date: 08/18/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Michael Praetorius
    Conductor:  David Munrow
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Early Music Group of London
    ArkivCD $17.99
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  • 10.
    Best Wedding 100
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 64262 Release Date: 06/16/2009   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  George Frideric Handel,  Claude Debussy,  Camille Saint-Saëns  ... 
    Performer:  Markus Klinko,  Ian Brown,  Christopher van Kampen,  Susan Tomes  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner,  Reginald Kilbey,  Sir John Barbirolli,  Stephen Cleobury  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Nash Ensemble,  Vienna String Sextet Members,  Ensemble Berlin  ... 
    CD: $18.99
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  • 11.
    The Art Of The Netherlands / Munrow, Early Music Consort
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 64215 Release Date: 11/27/2007   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Josquin Des Préz,  Anonymous,  Hayne van Ghizeghem,  Alexander Agricola  ... 
    Performer:  Martyn Hill,  Paul Elliott,  James Bowman,  Andrew van der Beek  ... 
    Conductor:  David Munrow
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Early Music Consort
    On sale! $29.98
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  • 12.
    Purcell: Birthday Odes / David Munrow
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 86050 Release Date: 02/08/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Henry Purcell
    Conductor:  David Munrow
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Early Music Consort of London
    ArkivCD $17.99
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  • 13.
    Blue - Music Of The Gothic Era / London Early Music Consort
    Label: Archiv Produktion (Dg)   Catalog: 471731 Release Date: 10/08/2002   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Philippus Royllart,  Anonymous,  Guillaume de Machaut,  Philippe De Vitry  ... 
    Performer:  David Munrow,  James Tyler,  Christopher Hogwood,  Alan Lumsden  ... 
    Conductor:  David Munrow
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Early Music Consort of London
    CD: $19.99
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  • 14.
    The David Munrow Edition - The Art of Courtly Love
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 61284 Release Date: 09/10/2002   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Jehannot de l'Escurel,  Guillaume de Machaut,  Anonymous,  Fransiscus Andrieu  ... 
    Performer:  Geoffrey Shaw,  David Munrow,  James Bowman,  Charles Brett  ... 
    Conductor:  David Munrow
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Early Music Consort of London
    Recommendation
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  • 15.
    The David Munrow Edition - The Art Of The Netherlands
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 61334 Release Date: 09/10/2002   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Josquin Des Préz,  Anonymous,  Heinrich Isaac,  Hayne van Ghizeghem  ... 
    Conductor:  David Munrow
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Early Music Consort of London
    On sale! $29.98
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  • 16.
    The David Munrow Edition - Monteverdi's Contemporaries
    Label: Virgin Classics Special Import   Catalog: 61288 Release Date: 10/17/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alessandro Grandi,  Sigismondo D'India,  Ignazio Donati,  Cherubino Busatti  ... 
    Conductor:  David Munrow
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Early Music Consort of London
    ArkivCD $16.99
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  • 17.
    The David Munrow Edition - Dufay: Se La Face Ay Pale
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 61283 Release Date: 07/16/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Guillaume Dufay
    Conductor:  David Munrow
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Early Music Consort of London
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    ArkivCD $16.99
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  • 18.
    The Pleasures of the Royal Courts / Munrow, Early Music Consort
    Label: Nonesuch   Catalog: 71326 Release Date: 06/25/1991   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giacomo Fogliano,  Magister Gulielmus,  Anonymous,  Juan del Encina  ... 
    Performer:  Christopher Hogwood,  Oliver Brookes,  Mary Remnant,  David Munrow  ... 
    Conductor:  David Munrow
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Early Music Consort
    ArkivCD $16.99
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  • 19.
    Music Of The Crusades / Munrow, Early Music Consort
    Label: London/Decca Serenata Series   Catalog: 430264 Release Date: 04/05/1991   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Walther von der Vogelweide,  King of Navarre Thibaut,  Richard I "Coeur-de-Lion",  Anonymous  ... 
    Performer:  James Bowman,  James Tyler,  Christopher Hogwood,  David Munrow  ... 
    Conductor:  David Munrow
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Early Music Consort
    CD: $11.99
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