Early Christmas Music and Carols from the British Isles
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[dropcap]T[/dropcap]here isn’t any information about the Quadriga Consort in the booklet so I looked them up on their web site and was amused when the following popped up: “Quadriga Consort – The Early Music Band. Traditional songs and tunes from the British Isles played on old-ish instruments by young-ish people.” Although they started as an early music group in Austria in 2001 they soon expanded their repertoire to include their own arrangements of English folksongs, so now although they still play early instruments (recorder, gamba, basse de violon and harpsichord) it’s difficult to call them an early music group anymore.
All the carefully thought-out arrangements are by the group’s director, harpsichordist Nikolaus Newerkla who also plays the vibrandoneon, a small wind-blown portable keyboard instrument. The singer is South African Elisabeth Kaplan, who has since left the group. She has the sort of appealing voice which is at home in the folk world and this is where I think this CD belongs, though enthusiasts of authentic folk music probably won’t approve of it. This is mostly traditional music in modern arrangements and the whole effect is rather soothing. I’m sure there must be plenty of people who will like it but I must admit I’m not one of them. On the positive side, the booklet is quite informative, particularly about the arrangements, and all the words of the songs are provided so you can sing along.