In their first Telarc recording, titled Come, Gentle Night: Music of Shakespeares World, Ensemble Galilei brought their signature Celtic flair to a delightful program of works termed "the soundtrack of the century. The 16th century, that is...," by The Washington Post. The groups distinctive blend of the old and new made a real connection to listeners at all levels and led one admiring critic to say: "This is one of that rare handful of CDs that deserves to be called exquisite."
Now these talented women have put together a new and imaginative collection of pieces that move from the stately courts of medieval Spain and 18th-century France to the rugged Isles of Scotland and Ireland. Mingled into the mix are the groups original compositions, written with a traditional Celtic flavor.
Period works featured on the disc are the Cantigas 7 and 338 from the Court of Alfonso X of Spain; the "La Folia" Variations by Marin Marais (1656-1728) and Arcangelo Corelli (1653-1713); and the Sinfonie and Musette from LIsle de Delos by Elizabeth Jacquet de la Guerre (1664-1729). These elegant works alternate with traditional Scottish and Irish dances and Slow Airs, including Scollays Reel; King of the Fairies; Old Grey Cat; OCarolans Welcome; Auld Reekie; Pipers Weird; and Dream Angus.
There are ten original compositions on the recording, written in a traditional style. Many are reminiscent of people, places or times that are important to their creators. Sue Richards Aisling ("Beloved," or "Dream") moves from a wistful melody to a lively dance-like section. "Home Fires" by Deborah Nuse is a spirited tune celebrating Christmas memories, as the delicate, haunting sounds of "Lake Skybelow" reflect Liz Knowles memories of a lake in Michigans Upper Peninsula. "Annas Garden" by Nancy Karpeles is a sentimental depiction of a family farm in Connecticut. "Winters Falling Light" by Carolyn Anderson Surrick combines the poignancy of loves joys and sorrows with a tuneful ode to the Solstice.
Ensemble Galilei takes its name from composer Vincenzo Galilei, whose influence, some four hundred years ago, helped restore a vital element of passion to the music of the day. Including both classically trained and traditional musicians, the group combines the elegance of chamber music with the energy and excitement of traditional performances. Ensemble Galilei maintains an active touring schedule incorporating both concert performances and residencies for educational institutions across the country.
Musicians: Ensemble Galilei: Liz Knowles, fiddle; Deborah Nuse, Scottish small pipes and fiddle; Sarah Weiner, oboe, recorders and pennywhistle; Sue Richards, Celtic harp; Carolyn Anderson Surrick, viola da gamba; Jan Hagiwara, percussion; Nancy Karpeles, bowed psaltery.
1. Cantigas 7 and 338
2. Scollay's Reel/ King of the Fairies/ Old Grey Cat/ the Dance Goes On
3. Winter's Falling Light
4. Sinfonie and Musette from L'isle de Delos
5. Callanish/ Under the Full Moon
6. Anna's Garden
7. Home Fires/ The Burning of the Clavie/ The Burning of the Clavie Reel
8. Lake Skybelow
9. La Folia Variations
10. Sgt. Early's Dream/ Tune for Kieran
11. Fanny Poer/ Mary O'Neill's
13. The Lady of the Lake
14. Miss Maxwell/ Bridget Cruise/ O'Carolan's Welcome
15. The Fair Maid of Barra/ Dream Angus