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Flower of Chivalry: Tranquil Medieval Music

Flower of Chivalry: Tranquil Medieval Music Lowest new price: $10.98
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Brand: Gift Of Music

The Flower of Chivalry

Tranquil medieval music featuring The Hilliard Ensemble

There is an emphasis on peace and calm in this selection of medieval music. It includes gentle songs by one of the greatest composers of the age, Guillaume Dufay, whose music charmed the ears of the Burgundian court in the fifteenth century. Plus English harp music by King Henry VIII, and songs by Martin Codax from thirteenth century Spain.

The Hilliard Ensemble: David James, Gordon Jones, John Potter, Rogers Covey-Crump Sirinu: Sara Stowe, Matthew Spring, Jon Banks

The music on this album deals with universal themes in a timeless and subtle way. The programme interweaves instrumental music from the court of Henry VIII, much of it composed by the King himself, with songs of love and hope by the great medieval musician, Guillaume Dufay.

Henry VIII was an able musician, and a composer as well. A manuscript survives of music from his court which contains a surprising number of compositions, both instrumental and vocal, by the monarch. The consorts are particularly beautiful. Like much music of the period, these works can be performed in a variety of ways, as solo instrumental numbers, or as works for more than one performer. Here, they are each played by a single performer, but a variety of instruments can be heard.

Guillaume Dufay was probably born in or around Cambrai, in what is now Northern France, but he soon drifted South to Italy, where he studied at the university in Bologna, and became a priest. By 1428 he was singing in the papal choir in Rome, although he kept contact with the North, and worked in Savoy and Cambrai, which was under the jurisdiction of the Burgundian court. The songs by Dufay on this album are unaccompanied, composed for three or four voices, performed by the incomparable Hilliard Ensemble. These songs appear in an important manuscript held in the Bodleian Library, MS Canon.Misc.213. This very beautiful book was written out by hand, possibly by a musician from Saint Mark's, Venice, in the first half of the fifteenth century. It was 'discovered' amongst the Bodleian's collections as late as 1895 by Sir John Stainer, who made the first modern edition. Since his initial study, it has become one of the most discussed of all pre-Renaissance music manuscripts.

Martin Codax was a Spanish troubadour, and thus part of a long tradition of travelling court entertainers who could sing and play musical instruments. Codax is one of the earliest named composers and his songs of the sea and of longing for love are to be found in a manuscript. His music is poetic and intense, similar to that of Dufay. It is performed here with instrumental accompaniment from the hurdy-gurdy, one of the most traditional and popular of early instruments. The original songs have music only for the voice, and the arrangement is conjectural. In fact, the sixth song has no music in the original source at all, but music has been composed by Dr Simon Heighes for this recording, in the style of the songs around it.

Four solo instruments can be heard on the album: two harps, a clavichord and an organ. The latter two are keyboard instruments: modern copies of fifteenth and sixteenth century originals. The first harp is a modern instrument (played by Victoria Davies) and the second a copy of a medieval harp (played by Jon Banks). It is smaller and has fewer strings than its modern counterpart.


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Classical Kids: Collection

Classical Kids: Collection Lowest new price: $32.99
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Beethoven's Wig 4: Dance Along Symphonies

Beethoven's Wig 4: Dance Along Symphonies Lowest new price: $9.23
Lowest used price: $1.99
Brand: Super-D
Model: 4112533

Beethoven's Wig is a performing group and a series of musical CDs, which set lyrics to the greatest masterpieces of classical music. Created by Richard Perlmutter, who is also the lyricist, lead singer and producer of the albums. The three Beethoven's Wig CDs have won three Grammy Award nominations, three Parents Choice Awards, and been named American Library Association Notable Recordings twice. In total the series has been honored with more than 40 national awards. The performing and recording group features singers Elin Carlson, Jonathan Mack, Susan Boyd, Jon Joyce and Michael Gieger. Beethoven's Wig has been featured on National Public Radio's All Things Considered and Morning Edition, on NBC's Today Show and they have sung at performing arts centers and with symphony orchestras across the US.

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The Canadian Brass - High, Bright, Light & Clear: the Glory of Baroque Brass

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Schubert- Complete Works for Violin and Piano, Vol. 1: (3) Sonatas / Rondo, d. 384,385,408,895

Schubert- Complete Works for Violin and Piano, Vol. 1: (3) Sonatas / Rondo, d. 384,385,408,895 Lowest new price: $15.87
Lowest used price: $14.87

Julia Fischer and Martin Helmchen adopt a rather quick tempo and a light touch, hardly too heavily pedaled in the piano part, in the opening of the first movement of Schubert's First Sonata in D Major, a work that could lend itself, slight as it may be, to overblown Romantic rhetoric (although not in leaner and more spirited readings like that of Joseph Szigeti, who recorded the Sonata with Andor F”ldes in 1942, a performance re-released in Sony's "Masterworks Portrait" series 52538 in 1992). Their kind of reading lends the work a freshness that period instrumentalists (such as Andrew Manze on Harmonia Mundi 907455, whose somewhat more nuanced reading on period instruments I urgently recommended in 31:6) might envy. The same approach yields dividends in the opening theme of the second movement. At its quicker tempo, the rapid passagework in the last movement sparkles. The contrasts in dynamics sound pointed and the dialogue between the instruments, especially bright.

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Liszt: Complete Piano Music Vol.45

Liszt: Complete Piano Music Vol.45 Lowest new price: $9.71
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Rhapsodie espagnole / Leslie Howard, piano

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Halcyon Days: A Treasury of British Light Music

Halcyon Days: A Treasury of British Light Music Lowest new price: $62.18
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Richter in Prague Complete

Richter in Prague Complete Lowest new price: $1,687.99
Lowest used price: $175.00

This is the largest, most comprehensive, and most valuable collection currently available of the playing of one of the greatest pianists of the 20th century. Czech Radio seems to have recorded virtually everything Richter played during his frequent visits to Prague during a period of 34 years. Many of the highlights of the pianist's vast repertoire are included here, including 10 Beethoven Sonatas, two Concertos, and the "Diabelli" Variations, along with major works of Brahms, Chopin, Mozart, Ravel, Schubert, Schumann, and Scriabin. These include such unusual items as the first two Brahms Sonatas and the Chopin Ballades. Some of the earlier recordings are muffled in sound quality, and a few (such as Mozart's Sonata K. 280 and Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition) are even afflicted with disturbing tape flutter. But most of the recordings sound excellent, and most of the performances are glorious. At the greatly reduced price (15 CDs for the price of 5), this set is a bargain that any pianophile can afford. But if you've collected the original series, beware of discarding them too quickly. An entire CD of Prokofiev--one of Richter's greatest specialties--is missing from this compilation, as are separately issued discs of the Dvorák and Grieg Concertos, which could have made yet another worthwhile disc. For what we have, however, let us give thanks--and also for the space-saving box! --Leslie Gerber

Greatest Hits of 1750

Greatest Hits of 1750 Lowest used price: $0.98

1. Kanon In D 2. Brandenburg Concerto No. 3: Allegro 3. Sinfonia In G 4. From 'Winter' - The Four Seasons: Allegro 5. Orchestral Suite No. 2: Polonaise 6. Orchestral Suite No. 2: Menuett 7. Orchestral Suite No. 2: Badinerie 8. Concerto For Trumpet In D 9. Jesu, Joy Of Man's Desiring 10. Arioso In F 11. Brandenburg No. 2: Allegro Assai 12. Masterpiece Theater Theme: Fanfare (Masterpiece Theater Theme) 13. Overture To Fireworks Music 14. Overture To Water Music 15. Air On A 'G' String 16. Messiah: Overture To 'Messiah'


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Early Music / Various

Early Music / Various Lowest new price: $9.99
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Brand: Naxos
Model: 2314332



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