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A LíEstampida - Medieval Dance Music
Danse Real (French 14th c) [2:45]; English Dance (13th c.) [4:00]; Estampie Real: La Seste (French 13th c.) [3:27]; Estampie Real: La Quarte (French 13th c.) [1:57]; Estampie Real: La Septime (French 13th c.) [1:51]; Estampie: Robertsbridge Codex (English 14th c) [6:59]; Chomineiamento di Gioia (Istampitta) (Italian, 14th c.) [5:20]; Lamento di Tristano (Italian 14th c.) [7:07]; La Rotta (Italian 14th c) [3:37]; Dança Amaorosa/Troto (Italian 14th c) [5:41]; Salterello (Italian 14th c.) 2:51]; La Manfredina/La Rotta della Manfredina (Italian 14th c) [10:59]; Salterello (Italian 14th c.) [4:25]
The Dufay Collective: Paul Bevan, whistle, slide trumpet, pipe and tabor, percussion; Giles Lewin, vielle, repec, bagpipes, shawm, pipe and tabor; William Lyons, flute, shawm, recorders, bagpipes, symphony, pipe and tabor, percussion; Susanna Pell, vielle and percussion; Peter Skuce, organ, harp, and percussion; Raphael Mizraki, oud, vielle, dulcimer, gittern and percussion
Recorded in June 1991 at St. Michaelís Church Blackheath, London.
AVIE AV0015 [61:05]


The Dufay Collectiveís story is the kind of musicianís fantasy that many of us in the business dream nightly until it actually happens to us. The good news is that the dream did come true for this group and music-lovers everywhere are the better for it. Begun in the 1980s by a lone lutenist, (William Lyons) who, having lain claim to his three chords for success, loped off to London to find fame and fortune. Find it he did as he and his merry band of traveling minstrels have been around for over fifteen years now, bringing ancient music to life to the delight of both critics and audiences the world over.

This collection of dances from the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries is a reissue of the groupís very first recording, made in 1991. The music itself is reconstructed mostly out of informed conjecture, as there is practically no written evidence as to how the music sounded, except for a number of fragmentary melody lines with little to no indication as to rhythm or tempo or instrumentation.

Despite all of the unknowns, this collection is a trove of delights, splendid in its energetic vitality. What a creative group of musicians this is to be able to so convincingly reconstruct music about which so little is known. The key word here is variety, as a long sequence of pieces based on the same dance form (the estampie in this case) could quickly get monotonous. Yet, the Dufay Collective have managed to vary tempi, instrumentation and mood to give us an hour of delights.

Avie, a relative newcomer to the fray of classical music labels continues to show that it intends to be a major player, consistently producing excellently documented, beautifully packaged and well-recorded discs. This is no exception, and I would venture that this is as good a place as any for the novice listener to delve into medieval music. I canít imagine any listener being disappointed in this infectious and delightful program.

Kevin Sutton


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