Notes and Editorial Reviews
"Listening to this extraordinarily stimulating disc, it's hard not to be reminded of Orson Welles's infamous remark about the Swiss and cuckoo clocks. Voyages of discovery aside, the background after all is one of rampant Spanish national fervour, the ravages of the Moorish wars and the inquitous Inquisition. And out of it comes an incomparable treasure trove of music represented here by the Palace Songbook compiled in the early years of the sixteenth century and the slightly earlier Cancionero Colombino from the library of Columbus's illegitimate son, the unfortunately named Fernando Colon. Most of the songs are love songs, in turn vibrant, melancholic and even raunchily humourous - what would the Inquisition have made of the filthy stutterings of Dale Si Le Das!
Catherine Bott is just the singer for them. Her vocal purity is not of the bland, sexless variety and she can be coy, lascivious or desolate with the simplest of inflections. The accompaniments, sometimes pungent and peppery, at others just a sympathetic swaddling of viols, are entrancing as the instrumental items. But then Philip Pickett has always been one of the least po-faced of scholar-directors. If the Columbus anniversary bandwagon helps to sell extra copies of this CD then all the good; it should be in every collection."
Classic CD, August 1, 1992
This Scottish label is swiftly carving a distinctive niche for itself as a major source of early music and this exploration of music from the Spanish rennaisance is timely. "Performed by soprano Catherine Bott and a group of period wind, string and percussion instruments, it is a handsomely packaged set containing seven instrumental pieces and a dozen songs drawn mainly from a collection owned by Columbus's son. Expertly sung and played, they have the rythmic vitality and direct appeal of folk music that makes for agreeable listening and the recording, as can be expected from Linn, is exemplary. English translations are provided in the accompanying two-colour booklet which is informative and attractive."
Inverness Courier, August 1, 1992