Ambrosio, Dufay, van Ghiseghem, da Pesaro, da Piacenza, de la Torre & anon
This collection of courtly dances, chiefly from Umbria, is interspersed with a handful of songs sung with the ensemble by Patrizia Bovi. As frequently with Micrologus the singing, recorded in a very forward brittle tone, sounds a little precarious, whereas the acoustic works better for the brash dance music. Developed as a project with a dance ensemble, the wide variety of dances from a range of appropriate sources and Micrologus’s varied instrumentation keeps up the interest, although I found myself occasionally yearning for the visual stimulation of the dancers themselves. In the end I found that the balance for a CD erred slightly in the direction of the by necessity rather formulaic dance music, and I could have done with a few more songs to leaven the mixture. On the positive side, it seemed to me that the CD offered sufficient repeats of each dance section that it could be used for actual dancing, when its rather forward tone would be an advantage.
D. James Ross