Now available in discrete multi-channel surround SACD as well as the CD recording!
In their first Telarc recording, titled Come, Gentle Night: Music of Shakespeare's World, Ensemble Galilei brought their signature Celtic flair to a delightful program of works termed "the soundtrack of the century. The 16th century, that is...," by The Washington Post. The group's distinctive blend of the old and new made a real connection to listeners at all levels and led one admiring critic to say: "This is one of that rare handful of CDs that deserves to be called 'exquisite.'"
Now these talented women have put together a new and imaginative collection of pieces that move from the stately courts of medieval Spain and 18th-century France to the rugged Isles of Scotland and Ireland. Mingled into the mix are the group's original compositions, written with a traditional Celtic flavor.
Period works featured on the disc are the Cantigas 7 and 338 from the Court of Alfonso X of Spain; the "La Folia" Variations by Marin Marais (1656-1728) and Arcangelo Corelli (1653-1713); and the Sinfonie and Musette from L'Isle de Delos by Elizabeth Jacquet de la Guerre (1664-1729). These elegant works alternate with traditional Scottish and Irish dances and Slow Airs, including Scollay's Reel; King of the Fairies; Old Grey Cat; O'Carolan's Welcome; Auld Reekie; Piper's Weird; and Dream Angus.
There are ten original compositions on the recording, written in a traditional style. Many are reminiscent of people, places or times that are important to their creators. Sue Richard's Aisling ("Beloved," or "Dream") moves from a wistful melody to a lively dance-like section. "Home Fires" by Deborah Nuse is a spirited tune celebrating Christmas memories, as the delicate, haunting sounds of "Lake Skybelow" reflect Liz Knowles' memories of a lake in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. "Anna's Garden" by Nancy Karpeles is a sentimental depiction of a family farm in Connecticut. "Winter's Falling Light" by Carolyn Anderson Surrick combines the poignancy of love's joys and sorrows with a tuneful ode to the Solstice.
Ensemble Galilei takes its name from composer Vincenzo Galilei, whose influence, some four hundred years ago, helped restore a vital element of passion to the music of the day. Including both classically trained and traditional musicians, the group combines the elegance of chamber music with the energy and excitement of traditional performances. Ensemble Galilei maintains an active touring schedule incorporating both concert performances and residencies for educational institutions across the country.