CD cover to buy CD or to listen to sound samples.
O Virgo Splendens
Sing Together (instrumental)
6) Imperayritz de la Ciutat Joyosa
The Seven Joys (instrumental)
Mariam Matrem Virginem
Cuncti Simus Concanentes
Los Set Gotxs
The Empress (instrumental)
Ad Mortem Festinamus.
yourself for the ultimate medieval pilgrimage with the early music
collective Bartholomew Faire's debut CD The Red Book.
Red Book features all ten songs from Montserrat Monastery Library's
Manuscript #1, popularly called Llibre Vermell ("The Red Book")
because of the red velvet cover given to the codex during the
late 19th century. The songs in this remarkable medieval manuscript
were written down during the late 14th century, selected by the
monks of Montserrat as being appropriate for the pilgrims who
made their way to the shrine to the Virgin Mary there. Since this
was a time when dancing was an acceptable form of worship, the
manuscript indicates several of these songs as 'round dances'
and are played as such with the usual Bartholomew Faire aplomb:
driving rhythms, arcane instruments, flights of improvisational
ornamentation and lusty vocals.
are several styles of medieval music represented in The Red Book.
The disc opens with a fascinating plainchant which turns into
a round with unusual harmonies. "Stella Splendens" is a grand
processional. "Laudemus Virginem" and "Splendens Ceptigera" are
minimal compositions with amazing arrangement and improvisational
possiblilties. "Polorum Regina" and "Los Set Gotxs" are presented
as hypnotic trance music, while "Cuncti Simus Concanentes" and
the various instrumentals are driving dance tunes. The disc concludes
with the oldest surviving danse macabre (dance of death): "Ad
Faire, directed by Stefan Dollak, was formed in 1996 (then called
"Musica Ficta") as an open-ended early music performance group
dedicated to presenting medieval and renaissance music with lively
Faire focuses on the unwritten aspects of ancient music performance,
such as interpretation, improvisation and interpolation (fleshing
out minimal fragments of music). Stefan selects and arranges the
repertory in thematic and symbolic ways, using aspects of contemporary
disciplines like medieval numerology, astronomy, literature and
popular culture to devise a logical sequence to Bartholomew Faire's
presentation of ancient music.
on CD cover image to order or to listen to sound samples.
Branle des Chavaliers
Allemande & Saltarello
Tourdion: Quand je Bois
Faire’s long-awaited second recording is, as the title suggests,
a disparate selection of the group’s favorite ‘jam-session’ tunes,
ranging from 13th century Spain through 16th century France, to
17th century England and 18th century Ireland. Pipe & tabor, Gothic
bagpipes, harp, lute, medieval hurdy-gurdies (symfony and organistrum),
recorders, mandolin, the Arabic al’ud, capped shawm, and other
arcane instruments are all complimented by a galaxy of exotic
of these pieces are classic “Renaissance Faire” faves, like “Branle
des Chevaliers” and “Schiarazula Marazula,” then there are some
fairly lesser-known gems, like Carolan’s “Cremonea,” and “Cantiga
180.” Styles range from the “Renaissance Loud Band” sound of “Goddesses,”
with mighty Gothic bagpipes, pipe & tabor, shawm, Kelhorn and
driving percussion, to the gentle Celtic mandolin, harp and recorder
of “Miss Hamilton” by Carolan’s contemporary Mr Cornelius Lyons;
from the straight-up Renaissance jump of Schein’s “Allemande &
Saltarello,” to the exotic Muslim/Christian/Jewish Spain of Alfonso
X, the wise Astronomer-King of Leon and Castile, and his monumental
Cantigas de Santa Maria, featuring al’ud, dumbek and bladder-pipe.
Mark Dollak played the lute, mandolin, medieval hurdy-gurdies
(symfony and organistrum), pipe & tabor, pipe & string drum, recorders,
Kelhorn, krummhorn, capped-reed shawm and the bladder-pipe.
Rodriguez played the al’ud, medieval citole and Gothic bagpipe.
Franklin played the Gothic harp.
Newton played assorted frame drums, bendir, cajon, medieval bass
drum, spring and ocean drums, doumbek, riq, and hand claps. David
also recorded, mixed and mastered this CD.