”Division-Musick“ is a term used by Christopher Simpson during the 17th century to describe a typically English improvisatory style of diminution. Musicians generally used short bass melodies called grounds as the basis for intricate and virtuoso diminutions, beginning with simple and slow melodies over a bass melody, and ending with very fast and virtuosic diminutions after a varying number of repetitions of the melody. Both singers and instrumentalists practiced this art of diminution, but the preferred instrument for divisions was the so-called ”division viol“. This CD aims to give some audible insight into English virtuosity in the Baroque era.
"…They have a long and impressive track record, so it's a risky claim to make, but I believe that, on disc, this is the best thing The Tallis Scholars have ever done." ~International Record Review
This wonderful new recording of the St Matthew Passion is the first to adopt Bach's final revisions to the score as performed in 1742. Most casual listeners may not be able to identify the departure in scoring from the most commonly performed 1736 version: which amounts to the replacement of organ with harpsichord in the second orchestra, and an additional viola da gamba in a recitative and aria. However, where this recording really stands out is in the size of the vocal forces. A total of eight singers are employed, therefore providing just four voices for each of the two choirs. This arrangement clearly has potential disadvantages for those of us raised on the full chorus monumental direction from the likes of Richter and Klemperer…
"When listening to this CD I turned the volume up just slightly past my normal listening level, and I was rewarded with a room-filling reproduction of what I’d heard in Amsterdam. "Uitstekend!" Highly recommended." ~ClassicsToday.com
…This collection of songs, recorded live in Norway and the Netherlands , demonstrate Mari’s ability to create sonic textures and settings for her unique voice and vocal style. Featuring original compositions as well as arrangements of two classic Memphis Minnie songs, Mari’s exploration of traditional musical forms via modern techniques (as exemplified by her previous Jazzland Recordings release with Stein Urheim, “Stein & Mari’s Daydream Community”) manages to weave evocative moments with improvisational fire.