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Splendour of the Renaissance
on 29 March 2013
David Munrow was of course an important influence on the development of the early music movement, not just in this country but abroad too. His TV series in the 70s and his 50-odd recordings stand as testiment to his insight and genius. Working with such figures as Christopher Hogwood, Alfred Deller and Nigel North, Munrow injected an energy and enthusiasm which helped propel the genre from being a minority and little-known subset into the exciting and innovative early music industry we have today.
This 2CD set from Virgin comprises two of Munrow's most celebrated recordings: the Susasto Danseryes and the Praetorius Dances from Terpsichore. Also included are a number of dances from England and the Continent.
The first thing to say about these recordings is how fresh and vibrant they sound. Perhaps this has something to do with the digital re-mastering, but whatever it is, the sound is detailed and full. The choice of instrumentation is largely speculative with works of such great age, but Munrow never fails to catch the spirit of the dances, whether in the smaller more intimate pieces or in the splendid and stately larger ensemble works. The build up in intensity through the Susato is spine-tingling, culminating in a richly-jeweled and exaltant performance of La Bataille like no other on record.
A cornerstone of Renaissance instrumental recordings, and a bargain at that!