Notes & Reviews:
With this CD-book, Jordi Savall pays tribute to Erasmus, one of the most fascinating historical figures of the Renaissance. Erasmus of Rotterdam was a Dutch Renaissance humanist, Catholic priest, social critic, teacher and theologian. An early proponent of religious tolerance, Erasmus's words provided a catalyst for the Reformation; but while he was critical of the abuses within the Church and called for reform, he kept his distance from Martin Luther and continued to recognize the authority of the pope. This three-disc collection pairs the words of Erasmus with music of the period. Disc one alternates excerpts from his essay The Praise of Folly with variations on the theme of La Folia. Discs two and three feature new recordings of music from the period interspersed with texts by Erasmus and Luther. Discs four through six include the musical selections from discs 1-3 without the spoken texts. In keeping with Erasmus's concept of a reconciled Europe, the album includes a code to download the spoken texts in English, German, Dutch, Italian, Spanish and Catalan.
Savall is the consummate master..
Sunday Times, 13th January 2013
This is another outstanding release from Alia Vox...The singing and playing of La Capella Reial de Catalunya and Hesperion XXI display, as usual, an exemplary combination of stylistic awareness, passion and panache.
BBC Music Magazine, April 2013
Though the spoken sections are in French, it's so well delivered - and translated in the book - that even those with minimal French will not feel excluded...What [Savall's] and his musical army give us is a tissue of words and music in the style we have learned to expect from him. Letters and literary extracts are interpersed with music.
Gramophone Magazine, May 2013
This extraordinary collection is truly a feast of (Erasmian) reason and beauty.
American Record Guide, July/August 2013
This is the latest of Savall's "CD-Book" productions. Its subject is the "Prince of Humanists", as he became known, Desiderius Erasmus (1466-1536). Widely admired in his day, of great intellectual achievement and influence, he is an ideal figure to concentrate on, in a lively and highly creative cultural world. All texts and musical listings are printed in full in the huge bound book, and in seven languages (French, English, Spanish, Dutch, Catalan, German, and Italian). People who are fluent in French, or who follow the printed translations, may find the first three CDs intellectually interesting. The supplemental discs 4-6 will invite return for the musical pleasures.
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Ira Hearshen: Strike Up the Band; Divertimento for Band; Symphony on Themes of Sousa et al. / U.S. Air Force Band
Michael Daugherty (b.1954): Mount Rushmore; Radio City; The Gospel According to Sister Aimee / Paul Jacobs, organ
Kenneth Fuchs: String Quartet No. 5 "American"; Falling Canons; Falling Trio / Christopher O'Riley, piano
Ricky Ian Gordon (b.1956): Rappahannock County; Late Afternoon / Walters, Sherman, Tuell, Moreno, Lattimore. Ricky Ian Gordon, piano
Gustav Mahler: Das Lied von der Erde / Alice Coote; Burkhard Fritz. Marc Albrecht
Bal-Kan: Honey & Blood - Cycles of Life / Hesperion XXI, Jordi Savall
Knudage Riisager (1897-1974): Violin Works / Johannes Soe Hansen, violin; Anne Soe Iwan, violin; Christina Bjorkoe, piano
Around Britten - works for solo cello by Benjamin Britten, John Tavener and Matthew Barley / Matthew Barley, cello
Zdenek Fibich: Symphony No. 1; Impressions from the Countryside / Czech Nat'l SO, Stilec