Welcome to Hyperion Records, an independent British classical label devoted to presenting high-quality recordings of music of all styles and from all periods from the twelfth century to the twenty-first.
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Having recently fallen in love with the French Estampie I had wanted to use this as a source. It has wonderful, occasionally wrong-footing, form bound together by recurring rhyming ending refrains. Johnannes de Groecheio, writing in the 14th century, claimed that the Estampie was so complex, so that it obliged the young people dancing it to concentrate and avoid erotic thoughts! I thought ‘wonderful—did it ever catch on here (Ireland)?’ However the extant notations did not trigger a way forward for me, so I was delighted when I found this particularly strange Salterello, as that Italian form is quite clearly derived from the French Estampie. I like to think of the spirit of this piece as a strange cross between the ringing visceral open-stringed resonances and ebergy of an Irish session and the wonderful twists and turns of these related medieval dance forms.
STAMP was commissioned by Music Network (with funding from The Arts Council of Ireland) for the Smith Quartet.
from notes by Donnacha Dennehy © 2011