2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: The Pilgrimage to Santiago (Audio CD)This was an outstanding performance for it's time, and was one of the first in an ever-lengthening line of CDs dedicated to the music associated with the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage. The performance is outstanding as are the sleeve notes. The selection of music is based on a number of sources (Codex Calixtinus, Codex las Huelgas, Cantigas de Santa Maria etc) which provided music for the medieval wayfarers on their journeys from France through northern Spain to Galicia.
The double CD draws from these sources and adds some secular Galician music (the Cantigas de Amigo) which makes for excellent listening.The recording dates from the early 90's which coincided with the renewal of interest in the Camino itself and also with an increased interest in the performance of early music.
If you want an overview of some of the best music of the 11th,12th and early 13th century then the selection here is hard to beat. The reason for my reluctance to give 5 stars is because the Cantigas de Santa Maria have overpowering choruses (with brilliant instrumental and percussion contributions) which are very exciting but lack the intimacy that is more appropriate for this music. Catherine Bott falls way short of my favourite soprano in these works, Mina Kanaridis of The Renaissance Players. Mara Kiek with Sinfonye also far surpasses Bott in the Cantigas de Amigo on the excellent "Bella Domna" release on Hyperion.
Another half hour of music could have fit onto this double disc and with so much great music left out this gives me another reason to dock that star rating. If your budget allows you should really opt for CDs dedicated to each individual source. Some of the groups specialising in these sources include: Discantus, Sequentia, Sinfonye, Ensemble Gilles Binchois and Alla Francesca. The Australian "Renaissance Players" disc of the above mentioned "Cantigas" should not be missed !