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Songs Without Words is a recording of music based around vocal music but performed without singers. As Woolf explains in his inlay notes (which are excellent; clear, well researched, informative and very interesting), the music on this disc can be divided into three categories: pure vocal music, divisions on vocal music, and, canzonas/sonatas/ ricercadas.
Track one, Monteverdi’s Laudate Dominum, is performed as written but with the sackbut replacing the voice. Here, Woolf‘s warm and singing tone leaves us in no doubt as to the sackbut’s ability to imitate the voice. Indeed, every musician on this disc demonstrates their obvious knowledge of the ‘text’ they are performing … more so than many a singer.
The subsequent tracks show not only the vocal qualities of these instruments but ...
Songs Without Words - Diminutions of Madrigals by Monteverdi, Castello, Sandrin, Fontana, Frescobaldi, Bassano, Van Eyck & Schuetz
Adam Woolf – sackbut, Siobhan Armstrong – harp, Eligio Quinterio – theorbo, Kathryn Cok – keyboard & Nicholas Milne – viola da gamba