Recorder recording (recommended)

A Baroque recorder player of my acquaintance has put together a short solo album, 'Ayre, Divided', to raise funds to help keep him studying in Salzburg, and to help fund some future projects that sound seriously cool. You can read about it all in his blog post here.

On the recording, Brendan plays some beautiful melodies taken from English lute airs and madrigals, and continues them with 'divisions' he's devised himself. The art of playing divisions (or variations) on popular melodies was an important skill for Baroque instrumentalists, and I have great respect for those who take up the challenge today. As Brendan notes, the tradition of improvisation is one of the neat parallels between Baroque music and jazz.

You can listen to 'Ayre, Divided' and purchase the tracks here.


Fellow Bach nerds, have you heard the new-ish Dunedin Consort / John Butt recording of the B Minor Mass? I listened to some of the tracks online, was mightily impressed, and have now ordered a copy of the cds. My old favourite recording is the Andrew Parrott version (I just love the one-voice-per-part sound), and I think this really gives it a run for its money. Wonderful clarity!

Here's a video of the Sanctus movement: 

The B Minor Mass is my 'official favourite' musical work - there's just so much in it, such a range of styles and textures, and lots of the vocal/instrumental interplay that's one of my favourite things about Bach's music. I love it to bits.