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The Californian group Ciaramella specialises in Renaissance dance music; here they explore the Spanish and Italian grounds – passamezzo, passacaglia, ciaconna and so on – that underlie so many late Renaissance dances. Recorders and shawms predominate; playing of expressive fluidity and rhythmic vitality supports plentiful virtuosic divisions. Lifelike sound of exceptional clarity enhances the impact. As well as choosing an ideal acoustic, producer Bob Attiyeh has used an old-fashioned analogue tape recorder, equally old-fashioned analogue valves for the recording circuitry, and a single stereo microphone – viva analogue! Strongly recommended, even if for me a couple of fiddles would be welcome from time to time in this selection, on the cusp of the Renaissance and baroque periods.

Jane Booth Read the full review on Agora Classica


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Early Music Today, 2014 - ©Rhinegold Publishing