PIAE CANTIONES, Church and School songs from Medieval Scandinavia.
Pro Musica Antiqua Oslo.
Simax PSC1203 65m DDD.
Occasionally we are thrilled by the odd medieval release coming like balm
to our modernistic sound-battered ears. Whilst listening to Pro Musica's
spiritual renderings of these Scandinavian songs and chants, one is taken
back to a timeless age where music really meant something. The songs are
varied and colourful in the extreme with subjects ranging from the usual
'Songs for the birth of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ' to the more bawdy
and commoner 'Scholastic Life'. There is a certain energy and demonic passion
behind the rousing instrumental music that leaps from the pages, such is
the fantasy and vision of it all. These musicians play the music with
enthusiastic verve and their timbre is delightfully appropriate whilst the
songs are sung with character and aplomb. Simax provide full texts and the
recording is suitably balanced to take into contention all the essential
strands of a congenial musical whole. The combination of pious Church songs
with the scholastic nature of a learning life is quite fascinating. I recommend
this CD to enthusiasts of the genre. This disc offers an original and enthralling
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