The Early Music Collection

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The Early Music Collection is a wide-ranging survey that traces the history of Western music from plainchant, the music of the Catholic Church, through polyphony, to the end of the 17th century. It includes leading ensembles and instrumentalists. Many of the individual albums have been critically lauded.

Recent years have brought a vast expansion in our understanding and knowledge of early music periods. There has been investigation into the repertoire and techniques of other ages, coupled with a movement that has favored the use of instruments and ways of playing them that are more or less authentic. Even where surviving historical instruments or modern reproductions of them are not used, the styles of performance have been influenced. Above all the myth of unending progress has been abandoned in favor of an evaluation of each period and type of music on its own terms. Early Music, in fact, has become a flourishing industry, stimulated by the remarkable growth in production and distribution of early music. For our present purposes we limit the term Early Music to cover a period ranging from plainchant to the end of the 17th century. The period that followed, the age of Bach and Handel and the great synthesis of the Late Baroque, is generally more familiar to listeners and is, in any case, another story.

Excerpts of select reviews from previously releases included in this set:

Gesualdo: Madrigals, Book 1 / Longhini, Delitiae Musicare

The nuances of dynamics and phrasing--not to mention the exceptional breath control and intonation--show an ensemble, like the music's composer, working at the highest artistic level.

– ClassicsToday

Ockeghem: Requiem / Holten, Musica Ficta

The account of the Missa Prolationum is particularly rich-textured, and beautifully balanced: the Sanctus and Benedictus strikingly so. The Requiem is also superbly sung, if with the rough edges smoothed off. The Intemerata Dei Mater opens the programme. It is sung with considerable feeling and immediately shows the splendid inner blend commanded by this group.

– Penguin Guide

Monteverdi: Madrigals Book 5 / Longhini, Delitiae Musicae

The singing here is superb--characterful and expressive in a way that often happens when singers are working with their native language. The basses in particular put an impressively firm bottom on the ensemble, and the two countertenors never sound strained.



CD 1: Adorate Deum: Gregorian Chant from the Proper of the Mass

CD 2: Hildegard of Bingen - Heavenly Revelations

CD 3: Music of the Troubadours

CD 4: Neidhart - A Minnesinger and his ‘Vale of Tears’

CD 5: Carmina Burana

CD 6: Machaut - Messe de Nostre Dame

CD 7: Argentum et Aurum

CD 8: Dufay - Chansons

CD 9: Ockeghem - Requiem

CD 10: Music from the Eton Choirbook

CD 11: Missa Conceptio tua

CD 12: A-La-Mi-Re Manuscripts

CD 13: Anchieta - Missa Sine nomine

CD 14: Frottole

CD 15: Josquin Desprez - Missa L’Homme armé

CD 16: Luis de Milán - Music for Vihuela (+ Narváez)

CD 17: Tallis - Spem in alium

CD 18: Palestrina - Missa Papae Marcelli

CD 19: Lassus - Lagrime di San Pietro

CD 20: Byrd - Complete Fantasias for Harpsichord

CD 21: Gabrieli - Music for Brass Vol.2

CD 22: Elizabethan Songs and Consort Music

CD 23: Sweelinck - Organ Works

CD 24: Dowland - Pavans, Galliards and Almains

CD 25: Gesualdo - Madrigals, Book 1

CD 26: Campion - Lute Songs

CD 27: Monteverdi - Madrigals, Book 5

CD 28: Tomkins - Consort Music for Viols and Voices

CD 29: The Guerra Manuscript Vol. 1

CD 30: Lawes - Consort Music for Viols, Lute and Theorbos

Product Description:

  • Release Date: June 14, 2019

  • Catalog Number: 8503297

  • UPC: 747313329731

  • Label: Naxos

  • Number of Discs: 30