Praetorius: Dances from Terpsichore
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Praetorius devoted most of his life to church music: he published more than twenty collections, mostly of settings of Lutheran chorales, and a number of others are known to have existed in manuscript. He also planned a series of collections of secular music named after the various Greek muses, including Euterpe (Italian and English dances), Thalia (toccatas and canzonas) and Erato (German secular songs). Unfortunately, in the event he managed to publish only one, Terpsichore, musarum aoniarum quinta (1612), consisting of 312 dances in four, five and six parts. The contents of Terpsichore are often assumed to be the compositions of Praetorius himself, however they are collections of different French dance styles—some by him and others are such as harmonisations of melodies supplied by Emeraud; original five-part pieces by Caroubel, a French court violinist; and those he labelled 'anonymous' (pieces received by him in two-part form, to which he just added inner parts). Pipe and tabor and the bagpipes are the only wind instruments used on this recording—the rest of the instrumentation is for violin bands as it seems that, despite recent recordings and interpretations, the collection was primarily intended for violins.

CDA67240  69 minutes 45 seconds
‘A new look at a famous score, and for this reason as well as for the excellent performances, warmly welcomed’ (Gramophone)
‘Peter Holman and his band reveal this music’s rich diversity in an intelligent and pleasing anthology. Taut rhythms and fine dynamic control throughout carry the listener along most persuasively ...
‘This … must be regarded as the most authentic and comprehensive now available’ (The Penguin Guide to Compact Discs)