Songs from Ms. Oxford, Bodleian Library, Canonici Misc. 213. The Dutch recorder player Kees Boeke is a busy bee. From sunny Tuscany he produces, together with soprano Jill Feldman, not only his own olive oil and wine, but also his own CDs with Olive Music. Since 2003 CDs with new but especially old music have appeared here. An old love of Boeke is the music of around 1400, and this CD is also dedicated to this. And it is these unknown others who get all the attention here. They will be more than happy with this, because as always the musicians around Boeke deliver top performances. The singers Zsuzsu Tóth and Carlos Mena are exemplarily accompanied in their graceful but extremely difficult lines by fiddles, harp and flute. The thoughtful approach of Boeke also ensures that we hear all the refined subtleties in music.
The program is taken from the Squarcialupi Codex, a lavish manuscript of 14th-century Italian music, named after a 15th-century organist at the cathedral of Florence who came into possession of it. It is located in a Florence library but is now available in a very expensive facsimile. The music, all secular works originating in Florence, is grouped by composer (a portrait illuminates each group) and arranged in chronological order of their age. The first five composers have only six selections here, with the rest of the disc devoted to Bartolino and Andreas. The disc takes its title from Giovanni’s madrigal in praise of music, the first piece on the disc.
Matteo da Perugia is one of the outstanding composer personalities in Italy at the transition between the late Middle Ages and the early Renaissance. Yet we know little about his life. We do not know the date of his birth, not even the year, nor is it certain whether the suffix “da Perugia” really means that Matteo came from this city. Relatively well documented, however, is his compositional work: all the compositions that are attributable with certainty to Matteo have survived in the same Codex.
Jill Feldman has appeared under the direction of such distinguished musicians as Frans Brüggen, Andrew Parrot, Jordi Savall and René Jacobs. Kees Boeke has given seminars and master classes in recorder and early music around the world including the Deller Academy (Lacoste, France 1972-1982), Corsi Internazionali di Musica Antica (Urbino, Italy 1975-1982), Early Music Festival, Vancouver and has been artistic director of the International Early Music courses at San Floriano. He has recorded for all the major companies before starting his own label, Olive Music.
A Mediterranean Odyssey is a two-disc collection that commemorates Loreena’s 2009 Mediterranean tour and combines newly recorded live performances of audience favorites with previously released studio recordings, all inspired by the tones, textures and rich cultural heritage of the Mediterranean.
New for 2017 is this latest ELEGANT SIMPLICITY release "Kicking the Olive Branch", featuring a stellar cast of additional musicians. 7 brand new tunes, including the epic title track, fusing funk (yeah, funk!), classic rock, progressive rock and other stuff into a seamless melodic whole. Harder rocking than any previous release, this has some cool guitar moments, sweet mini-moog madness and some fantastic sax and violin moves.