Michael Fremer Rated 9/11 Music, 11/11 Sonics!
180g 45rpm Vinyl LP! Vinyl Mastering by Bernie Grundman!
"Five Stars" & "Editor's Choice" - from London's Early Music Today
On this release, the Ciaramella Ensemble perform music composed by Gaspar Sanz, Andrea Falconieri, Alessandro Piccinini, Adam Knight Gilbert, and Diego Ortiz.
People have been dancing as long as we can remember. Medieval children ringing round the roses of the Black Plague, Renaissance nobility processing to the stately basse danse, city folk courting to the steps of the pavane, and the already pregnant bride in Brueghel's painting The Peasant Wedding, all danced their way through the rituals of life; courtship, marriage, political intrigue, harvest, and the final Dance of Death which we must all join regardless of social status, wealth or position.
The title "Ciaramella: dances on Movable Ground" plays on the fact that they live in Southern California, where the ground might roll or shake below their feet at any time. But dancing on shifting grounds is also a musical concept that serves as a unifying element in this recording. Grounds are the repeated chord progressions and melodies that lie at the heart of Renaissance and Baroque dance. these grounds form the basis of almost all dances of the early modern era. Players would improvise melodies and variations, beginning first with simple melodies, and gradually adding increasingly florid and virtuosic variations to show off their skill and invention.
Ciaramella are a six-member ensemble bringing to life Medieval and early Renaissance music from historical events and manuscripts. Praised for performing intricate 15th c. counterpoint "with the ease of jazz musicians improvising on a theme," its members are united by the conviction that every composition conceals a rich story waiting to be unlocked through historical research and a speculative performance.
Founded on a core of winds: shawm, sackbut, recorder, bagpipe, and voice, Ciaramella takes its name from the Italian shawm (a centuries old woodwind family instrument) and from a 15th c. song about a beautiful girl whose clothes are full of holes. When she opens her mouth, she knocks men flat. Ciaramella's members met as graduate students at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. They first performed together on Christmas Day 2003 in Spoleto, Italy.
This release is the first ever 45rpm Vinyl LP available from Yarlung Records.
"Your stereo was made for Ciaramella's Dances on Movable Ground... The sonics are astonishing and the Pallas pressing dead quiet. Quite simply, if you want to know how good your stereo can possibly sound, get this short, but delightful record (if the woodwinds "break up", blame your turntable, not the recording or pressing)!" - Michael Fremer, www.analogplanet.com, 9/11 Music, 11/11 Sound!
"We recorded this album using RMGI 468 tape, five-foot long Yarlung-Records designed stranded silver interconnects, customized vacuum tube preamplifiers by Elliot Midwood and no mixer. The signal path was as short as we could make it, with as few electronics between performer and final product as possible. There is no compression or limiting on this 45 RPM vinyl pressing and Bernie cut the lacquer directly from the tape, bypassing the board." -Bob Attiyeh, producer
"A real stunner of Renaissance music and dance. This album is as good as it gets...a jewel. Alive with definition, the "you are there" sound pops into the room right before your ears. Best imaging, pacing, and sense of verisimiltude I have ever heard...Bravo Yarlung!" -Robert H. Levi, PFO
"...dance tunes from the Baroque and Renaissance. It doesn't get better than this! Ciaramella is magic." -Michala Petri
"...when these extremely talented musicians begin to play, their liveliness and freshness is almost palpable. This is not just dance music; at its best, this is living music, current, non-academic, and certainly not old. Dance music was there from the beginning. And when it is played like this, the sounds of 300 years ago sound as if the were made only yesterday." -Robert Strobl, Toccata-Alte Musik aktuell
Made in Germany
Mastering Engineers: Steve Hoffman & Bob Attiyeh
Vinyl Mastering: Bernie Grundman
Recorded in Alfred Newman Hall, USC, June 27-30, 2011
Adam Knight Gilbert, recorder, percussion
Rotem Gilbert, recorder, percussion
Doug Miliken, dulcian
Malachai Komanoff Bandy, viola da gamba
Jason Yoshida, guitar, theorbo
Arthur Omura, harpsichord
Jose Gurria-Cardenas, percussion
Gaspar Sanz (1640-1710)
Andrea Falconieri (1585-1656)
Adam Knight Gilbert (b.1961)
3. The Fisher and Fox
Alessandro Piccinini (1566-1638)
4. Chiaconna in partite variate
6. Greensleeves to a Ground
Diego Ortiz (1510-1570)
7. Recercada ottava