Ensemble Almara with the best of Carmina Predulcia

There are collectors for everything — even information. Take Hartmann Schedel (1449-1514) for example.

He amassed a collection of over 600 volumes comprising all the knowledge of his day. He compiled the Schedel Song Book not so much out of a love for music, but just to collect and record the information.

The Schedel Song Book is a treasure trove. In it are some of the most popular tunes of the day, known all across Europe.

And there are many selections that only survive through this one collection. All were meant to immediately appeal to the ear — and they do.

The Ensemble Almara specializes in secular music of the Middle Ages and Renaissance. That makes them perfectly suited to bring this music to life.

The five performers use a variety of instruments to vary the sound from track to track. The command of their respective instruments is impressive. Ensemble Almara plays with precision and elan.

Elisabeth Pawelke sings with a clean, pure tone. It’s poised between the refinement of a professional musician (which she is) and a talented amateur (which is who most likely performed these works in taverns and homes). It’s a sound I found quite appealing and authentic.

This release has a fairly short playing time — about 36 minutes. But if you’re more concerned about quality than quantity (as I am), that’s not an issue.

Carmina Predulcia – Ensemble Almara
Music from the Schedel Songbook
Naxos 8.551440

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