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O Lusty May: Renaissance Songs of Spring

William Byrd , William Corkine , Guillaume Costeley , John Dowland , Jacob van Eyck , Thomas Morley , John Playford , Thomas Ravenscroft , English Traditional , The Toronto Consort Audio CD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Performer: The Toronto Consort
  • Composer: William Byrd, William Corkine, Guillaume Costeley, John Dowland, Jacob van Eyck, et al.
  • Audio CD (March 23, 1999)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Alliance
  • ASIN: B00000IGP4
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #484,399 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Now is the month of maying, madrigal for 5 voices
2. Joan to the Maypole
3. Bellamira & Emperor of the Moon (from English dancing master)
4. Now the lusty spring is seen
5. Willy prithee go to bed
6. Greenwood (or The Huntsman)
7. Hunt the Squirrel
8. Come away come sweet love, for 4 voices & lute (First Book of Songs)
9. Engels Nachtegaeltje (From Van Eyck's der Fluyten Lust-Hof)
10. Beauty sat bathing
11. All in a garden green, variations for keyboard, MB 56
12. This Merry Pleasant Spring
13. Woodycock
14. Allons au vert boccage
15. Jouissance Vous Donneray
16. La terre n'agueres glacée
17. La rousée du joly mois de may
18. Divisions on Frais et Gaillard
19. Quand ce beau pringemps je voy after Nicolas de la Grotte
20. A jigge, for lute
See all 22 tracks on this disc

Editorial Reviews

Those Renaissance Europeans really knew how to celebrate spring, a fact colorfully evident in popular music of the period from countries such as England, Scotland, and France. This varied and technically polished recording of vocal and instrumental songs and dances features selections from all of the above regions--and thankfully mixes many unfamiliar tunes among a few favorites such as Morley's "Now is the month of maying" and the title song. The seven-member Toronto Consort demonstrates the precise phrasing and well-developed sense of blend and balance that mark a mature ensemble of intelligent singers. It also offers impressive harpsichord, lute, and recorder performances. Highlights include the charming "La rousee du joly mois de may" for vocal ensemble and lute and "La terre n'agueres glacee," an unusually melancholic take on spring, through the eyes--and heart--of a lonely lover. The recording places the voices very close to the listener, and not everyone will appreciate the animal noises and "authentic" accents used in "Willy prithee go to bed," but most listeners will find this an entertaining and spirited celebration. --David Vernier

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sweet and sparkling! November 24, 2002
Format:Audio CD
Frisky songs of love and springtime in the form of madrigals, ballads and jaunty dances. I can't help but smile when listening to the rich, cheerful, heartfelt music of the Toronto Consort. On this recording in particular, the recorder virtuosity of Allison Melville stands out as she imitates birds in several numbers with well-placed chirps and flutter-tonguing. Tenor Paul Jenkins also gets a chance to shine as an improvisational harpsichord soloist. This spirited ensemble continues their seasonal approach to recording with their subsequent release, "The Little Barley-Corne: Winter Revels from the Renaissance". For other fun madrigals from the Renaissance, you might also enjoy the King's Singers in "All At Once Well Met: English Madrigals", and "The King's Singers' Madrigal History Tour: Italy, England, France, Spain, Germany" (with the Consort of Musicke).
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars O Lusty May/ Toronto Consort June 11, 2000
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
This music selection is extremly fun and light hearted. It has not left my stereo for 4 months. The vocals are amazing, especially the first soprano solos. I am using this CD during my wedding reception this summer which has a Renaissance theme. Two thumbs up!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Music for May! March 14, 2002
Format:Audio CD
I know, I know...May is still away off. But March is doing its best to destroy things around here right now, so I'm still looking forward to May...And this is the perfect music for its coming. The Toronto Consort are excellent musicians: another trophy in Dorian's stable of remarkable talent. If you've never heard this music--get it. You will not be sorry.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Neither frisky nor lusty February 15, 2006
Format:Audio CD
The instrumental tracks on this CD are lovely, but the vocals leave a lot to be desired in terms of style. They have taken very much of a choral approach- too formal a sound, in my opinion (stiff, formal, acoustics very much like in a church). If you enjoy renaissance vocals as recorded by Custer LaRue of the Baltimore consort, then this is not your style.
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