One of the most grown-up review sites around


Search MusicWeb Here

     
  
 

 

International mailing


  Founder: Len Mullenger             Senior Editor: John Quinn               Contact Seen and Heard here  

Some items
to consider


16th-19th November


Shostakovich 4, 11 Nelsons
Transparent Granite!


Nothing but Praise


BrucKner 4 Nelsons
the finest of recent years.

superb BD-A sound

This is a wonderful set


Telemann continues to amaze


A superb disc

Performances to cherish

An extraordinary disc.

rush out and buy this

I favour above all the others

Frank Martin - Exemplary accounts

Asrael Symphony
A major addition


Another Bacewicz winner


match any I’ve heard


An outstanding centenary collection


personable, tuneful, approachable


a very fine Brahms symphony cycle.


music that will be new to most people


telling, tough, thoughtful, emotionally fleet and powerfully recorded


hitherto unrecorded Latvian music

 


To gain a 10% discount, use the link below & the code MusicWeb10

To Drive The Cold Winter Away
Entry of the Minstrels and Waits [1:52]
Festivities in the Tavern [8:05]
A Medieval Holiday [14:42]
Festivities at the Manor [14:51]
To entertain a King [8:20]
St George’s Canzona/John Sothcott
rec. 1975, no locations given
CRD 3319 [48:46]

This recording dates from 1975 and it does rather show its age – everything about the issue is slightly dated. However, the music is rousing and enjoyable, and I personally I am able to overlook this. Others, however, may not be able to do so! The disc cover and the booklet notes show the age as much as the actual recording – a very basic cover with rather outdated fonts and that looks put together on a home computer.

While the notes are lacking depth and clarity – and, to be honest, there’s not really a huge amount about what we’re hearing on the disc – there is a list of instruments featured on the recording, all of which were “researched and constructed” by the group’s director, John Sothcott and Francis Grubb, who wrote the booklet note and plays the recorder, gittern, rebec, medieval fiddle and percussion on the disc. We also have Ray Attfield as voice, percussion and bells, John Grubb on citole, gittern, lute and percussion, Derek Harrison is the counter-tenor and plays rebec, Rosemary Harrison and Mary Sothcott are the sopranos, John Lawes plays recorders, crumhorn and percussion, Michael Oxenham is on the cornette, recorders, pipe and tabor, crumhorn, curtal and percussion, John White also plays the rebec, Leila Ward plays recorders, crumhorn and shawm, while John Sothcott performs on recorders, rauschpfeife, citole, rebecs and vielles as well as directing. One notices from the list of names that – unless there are a lot of coincidences – this appears to quite a family-orientated group!

The performances themselves are good – rough and ready (intonations can waver at points, for example), but then, rough and ready is the style of the music and the nature of the instruments. The music itself is drawn from various dances, songs and carols that have down to us from the twelfth to seventeenth centuries, as well as some melodies from Playford’s The English Dancing Master, the odd bit of a Dowland, and dances from Praetorius’s Terpsichore. These tunes and dances the group weave into different sections, as imagined that they might have been played for example at the tavern, at the manor, or at the King’s court.

It’s not a disc to sit down and listen through to in attentive silence, but it makes for pleasant listening whilst writing the Christmas cards, or doing something else festive and undemanding.
 
Em Marshall-Luck


 

 




Advertising on
Musicweb



Donate and keep us afloat

 

New Releases

Naxos Classical


Nimbus Podcast


Obtain 10% discount


Special offer 50% off

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
(THE Polish label)
Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing
sample

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
   
Rob Barnett
Senior Editor
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
Editor in Chief
   Vacant
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger