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ClassicsOnline Home » Choral Concert: Pro Cantione Antiqua - WILBYE, J. / WEELKES, T. / GREAVES, T. (English Madrigals from the Oxford Book of English Madrigals)
Madrigal work at its best.
There is always a problem in reviewing something this good. If one uses up all the superlatives what happens when something just a little bit better comes along. Philip Ledger and Pro Cantione Antiqua are absolutely at the top of their game with this recording and the quality of the recording does them immense justice.
I do wonder, however, how long they can continue to give pot-pourris of madrigals. I know that these were all from the Oxford book of English Madrigals, but why not record them all, albeit in a set or series. They are so good, I wonder why they continue to cherry-pick.
For example Thomas Morley, with just a couple of madrigals on this recording, is sadly under-recorded, likewise Tomkins. It seems they undervalue their talent, so ably expressed in this recording. They are just so good I would like them to move out of what might appear, in some people's eyes to be their comfort zone. Be more adventurous Pro Cantione Antiqua, you are clearly good enough to do so.
If you are a relatively new convert to this genre of music, this is an absolute must. If you are already a fan then you will almost certainly have this recording and perhaps like me you would love to see them tackle something even more ambitious.more....
A MUST-HAVE COLLECTION!
During a relatively short period, about thirty years from 1595 to about 1625, the English madrigal made its appearance, rose to brilliance, and then abruptly disappeared. A huge repertoire of pieces, some delightful and some heart-wrenching, as wonderful to listen to as they are to sing! Unfortunately, the broad range of content and emotion expressed in English madrigals is seldom addressed either in concert or on recording.
Phillip Ledger's Pro Cancione Antiqua provides us here with an outstanding audio document. The musicality, the intonation, the clarity, and especially the 'passion' for this music is evident throughout. The range of composers goes from well known (Wilbye, Weelkes) to the less familiar, but all gems. I was particularly taken with Giles Farnaby's "Construe My Meaning" and the two late era madrigals by Tomkins. The emotional punch of these challenging pieces rounds out an amazing collection.more....
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Choral Concert: Pro Cantione Antiqua - WILBYE, J. ...