”Division-Musick“ is a term used by Christopher Simpson during the 17th century to describe a typically English improvisatory style of diminution. Musicians generally used short bass melodies called grounds as the basis for intricate and virtuoso diminutions, beginning with simple and slow melodies over a bass melody, and ending with very fast and virtuosic diminutions after a varying number of repetitions of the melody. Both singers and instrumentalists practiced this art of diminution, but the preferred instrument for divisions was the so-called ”division viol“. This CD aims to give some audible insight into English virtuosity in the Baroque era.
La Guitarra Española is the second solo album from William Carter. This recording explores the fascinating music of Spanish guitar legend Santiago de Murcia who successfully fused the popular and art music of the early 1700s.
When he published his two Apothéoses in memory of two great masters of music in 1724-25, François Couperin was asserting his desire to promote a meeting of the French and Italian styles – from a very Gallic point of view, naturally. The idea was to convince the French Muses that henceforth one could say sonade and cantade in their language – a strategy already pursued in the much earlier La Sultane and La Superbe. But, far from blindly imitating his idols, Couperin takes inspiration from their styles and adapts them to his own brio. The result is a delight for all to share with the musicians of Gli Incogniti and Amandine Beyer, whose first harmonia mundi recording this is.
In the autumn of 2016, word began to spread around New Orleans that an extraordinary new collective had begun to record an album and were starting to perform in the premier venues in the city. The personnel? Brad Webb on drums, Matt Booth on bass, and Oscar Rossignoli on piano. All of them compose for the group, and with the particular musical personalities of the group foremost in mind – an approach that has thrilled locals and will likely soon reach audiences both nationally and internationally.
Street Blues is a beautifully produced album that is a fantastic listening experience. Full of great original songs and choice covers. A perfect vehicle for Simon's clever writing, soulful singing and killer modern blues guitar playing.
Cuban born pianist Alfredo Rodrguez literally lived his music while in his native land. Coming to the United States has given Rodriguez a new perspective and a second chance at creativity that few artists are smart enough to embrace on the first go-round. The Invasion Parade celebrates different styles of Cuban music seldom recorded in the United States along with a wonderful lineup of musicians including a nice cameo from Esperanza Spalding.