Music News 4/3/2019


Etienne Charles, CARNIVAL: The Sound of a People Vol. 1 (Culture Shock, $15.98) – In 2015, on a Guggenheim fellowship, Trinidadian trumpeter Etienne Charles returned to his homeland to dig deeper into Carnival, and the many musical traditions associated with it. He recorded ensembles playing the tamboo bamboo, biscuit pans, steel pans, and a wide array of drums and percussion instruments. He later convened an all-star jazz group, including David Sanchez and Brian Hogans on saxophones, Sullivan Fortner, James Francies and Christian Sands on keyboards, Ben Williams on bass, and Obed Calvaire on drums to play tunes inspired by his trip, some with the field recordings mixed in. An inspired project…for this season after carnival.



John Eliot Gardiner & Monteverdi Choir, LOVE IS COME AGAIN (SDG, $17.99) – Conductor John Eliot Gardiner’s selection of music for Easter from the 11th to the 20th centuries. In Gardiner’s words, “it is based on my experience of compiling and directing the music for a mimed Easter play, performed in village churches in Dorset every year between 1963 and 1984, the brainchild of my mother, to whose memory this recording is dedicated.” The Monteverdi Choir sings works by Gesualdo, Cornysh, Schütz, Byrd, Tallis and Gabrieli, among others.

Les Arts Florissants, 40 YEARS 1979 – 2019 (Harmonia Mundi, 3 CDs, $22.98) – William Christie revolutionized the performance of Baroque music, starting with French repertoire for operas and theater, continuing in works by Handel, Monteverdi, and the more recent recordings of airs and madrigals. Christie established Les Arts Florissants as a performing group, and it became a training school for many performers who have become stars in this repertoire. The box set’s three CDs each have a theme: Music and Theater (Charpentier, Lully and Rameau), Sacred Music (Handel, Bach, Lalande) and Secular Music (Monteverdi, Gesualdo, Lambert). Other composers are included as well. A fine introduction to this ground-breaking ensemble.