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KONGE AF DANMARK - Les Witches and the Compensius Organ in Frederiksborg 1617 - 3760014191633 - Released: June 2010 - Alpha 163

This disc is a real treat if you enjoy the music of the early to late 17th century. All kinds of wonderful dances and laments. Well chosen to showcase the players and their instruments.

Almost every disc that comes from the Alpha label is a true gem. This one will be a permanent fixture in my collection. I have nothing quite like it.

The organ is 400 years old! There are many pictures that show off this royal instrument. The workmanship is nothing short of astounding. The sound matches the music in the best manner possible. A small very well thought out organ that is designed for accompaniment and congregational singing in a small chapel. The ensemble and the organ together are a sonic treat in every way. At times you have to listen very closely to hear if the organ is playing. Other times it is front and center mimicking a bagpipe or adding the fundamentals to the viol. I have always liked the music from this age. Full of vigor and forward momentum. The pieces for solo organ are not boring or tutti flute ! Nope, the little organ that could is put to great effect.

My favorite instruments in an early music ensemble are all here, violin, basse viole, theorbe and little pipe organ. A multi-talented ensemble of five players that make this old dusty music sound as alive today as it did 400 years ago. Music played on the instrument that the composers played. Now how's that for authentic performance practice?

Whole heartedly recommended.

Mark Kravchenko