Celebrating Early Music and Early Music Performance

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With this in mind, the following links – in no particular order, demonstrate Early Music is alive and kicking!  From the magnificent Trio Medieval, to the eclectic approach of Wolgemut and the Big Daddy of them all - David Munrow.  Enjoy the immediacy, fun and  sometimes the intimate nature of live recording.







Above:  Founded in Oslo in 1997, trio mediaeval has developed three distinct strands of repertoire: polyphonic medieval music from England and France, contemporary works and Norwegian medieval ballads and songs. The group's initial phase was inspired by intense periods of work at the Hilliard Summer Festival in England and Germany, and subsequently with Linda Hirst and John Potter



Below:  Fun, humor and endless amounts of energy are the essentials of a Wolgemut performance. Music, dance and comedy fused with a generous amount of “wolgemutness” turns every Wolgemut show into a high powered event; a Renaissance Rock concert!









Above:  Arguably, David Munrow did more than anyone else in the second half of the last century to popularise early music in Great Britain, despite a career lasting barely ten years. Indeed, this is underlined by the fact that the committee which chose the music for the Voyager Golden Record selected one of his recordings to be sent on the Voyager space probes on an interstellar journey.
David Munrow left behind him not only his recordings, but a large collection of musical instruments. The Munrow Archive at the Royal Academy of Music holds a collection of his letters, papers, TV scripts, scores, musical compositions and books. The collection is accessible to the public. The online catalogue of the British Library Sound Archive reveals his many recording entries, and those of many other noted personages.
Information about the life, and work of David Munrow can be found in obituaries about him in 1976 (particularly the OUP journal Early Music), and in the following sources: a detailed piece in the Dictionary of National Biography by Christopher Hogwood; The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians; The Art of David Munrow, a record set with a biography by Arthur Johnson, the producer of Pied Piper and on the old vinyl sleeve of the Renaissance Suite.





Below:  Miserere, full name “Miserere mei, Deus” (Latin: “Have mercy on me, O God”) by Italian composer Gregorio Allegri, is a setting of Psalm 51 (50) composed during the reign of Pope Urban VIII, probably during the 1630s, for use in the Sistine Chapel during matins, as part of the exclusive Tenebrae service on Wednesday and Friday of Holy Week. It was the last of twelve falsobordone Miserere settings composed and chanted at the service since 1514 and the most popular: at some point, it became forbidden to transcribe the music and it was only allowed to be performed at those particular services, adding to the mystery surrounding it. Writing it down or performing it elsewhere was punishable by excommunication.[1] The setting that escaped from the Vatican is actually a conflation of verses set by Gregorio Allegri around 1638 and Tommaso Bai (also spelled “Baj”; 1650–1718) in 1714.








Below:  I know I shouldn't - but I love this one!