Le Masque de Fer

"The Man in the Iron Mask" has been the subject of books, films and much speculation about his identity. He may just have been a valet but there have been claims that he was an illegitimate half-brother of Louis XIV, a disgraced French general or an Italian diplomat. [...]

Mésangeau’s Experiments

René Mésangeau (fl 1567-1638) was one of the pioneers of what was to become the Baroque lute, not least through his experiments in lute tuning that led to the ‘standard’ Baroque lute tuning based around a D minor chord. [...]

The Famous Weiss

The thoughtful and reflective mood of the opening D minor Prelude sets the scene for this enthralling CD of lute music by Silvius Leopold Weiss. I was introduced to the music of Weiss by David Miller in a Dartington concert in the mid 90s. [...]

Schütz: Matthäuspassion

This eleventh volume in the Dresdener Kammerchor’s projected complete recording of the works of Heinrich Schütz brings them to a work of his extreme old age, his Matthew Passion. According to Dresden Schlosskapelle edicts up to the end of the 17th century, instruments were forbidden from playing during passion tide, [...]

Gesualdo: Dolcissimo Veleno

La dolce maniera have adopted a highly original approach to the love madrigal here by taking at least one madrigal from each of Gesualdo’s published volumes, twenty madrigals in all, and arranging them into a ‘romantic song cycle’ charting the establishment, growth and eventual implosion of a romance. [...]

Il Pianto d’Orfeo or the Birth of Opera

This intriguing CD takes the Orpheus legend as a springboard to explore the world of early opera. To a surprising extent the legend dominated the early years of opera, providing in its story a powerful message about the power of music, but also a hero who conveniently performs monophonically to his own instrumental accompaniment. [...]
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