I have always been fascinated by the music of the 17th century – the Seicento, as it is referred to in Italy, the artistic centre of Europe at the time. This music has an edge, a wildness, an unpredictability about it which is truly compelling, and for years I planned to make an album celebrating its quirky riches. The project seemed forever on the back-burner as commercial demands kept me to the high profile repertoire and technicolour presentation of my projects with Red Priest (maybe some of you caught our recent release of Handel in the Wind, which features our uninhibited romp through the Messiah…) – but the shock of reaching my half-century last year prompted me to get a move on with some of those niche projects which feel truly important!
So Wild Men of the Seicento was finally born, and is now available for pre-release purchase through my websites (catch the special Christmas offer here). I hope you take the opportunity to sample this amazing music, and maybe share my enthusiasm for this forgotten chapter of musical history (if nothing else, maybe the Wild West packaging might encourage you to take a punt on something a little obscure?) Recorder enthusiasts in particular may be interested to hear the opening track, a violin sonata by Biber, expressed through the powerful tone and extended range of the new Eagle Recorder – but hopefully there will be something for all to enjoy and discover in the unfamiliar names of Castello, Fontana, Uccellini, Pandolfi, Salaverde, Falconieri, Van Eyck, D’Anglebert and Bull – and the rather safer territory of Corelli!
Official release to shops and online retailers is not until March 2016 but copies can be purchased and downloaded from Red Priest Recordings in the meantime – and don’t forget to check out the special offer (valid until December 21 only)!
With Wild Winter greetings to all…