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Classical - Released January 1, 2002 | Alpha

Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 4 étoiles du Monde de la Musique - 10 de Répertoire - Recommandé par Classica
Alpha Productions' Nobody's Jig: Mr. Playford's English Dancing Master appears to be the debut outing on disc by a French period instrument ensemble under the great name of Les Witches. This collection is made up of late seventeenth and early eighteenth century dances initially published in John Playford's English Dancing Master and related sources. Nobody's Jig: Mr. Playford's English Dancing Master is a nicely chosen program, and certainly makes for pleasant listening, as Les Witches realizes and harmonizes these mostly monophonic dances with a "Broken Consort" of violin, flute, lute/guitar, viola da gamba, and clavichord/cistern, or some smaller combination derived thereof. The 32-page booklet is handsomely decorated with sometimes-oblique black and white images of the group in combination with more photo essay-styled pictures. Unfortunately, overall the music has no muscle and doesn't really inspire one to dance. The manner in which Les Witches handle pieces such as Woodycock tend to be laid-back, somber, folksy, and rather similar to the way that they play several other pieces on this disc. Some of the music is good; for example, their rendering of Drive the cold winter away/The Beggar Boy maintains at least some sense of forward momentum. Nevertheless, an awful lot of the music is centered on the flute, and after a while it gets monotonous -- percussion instruments are utilized only sparingly. There is an obvious counterpoint between the approach of Les Witches and that of the Baltimore Consort; and if one likes Baroque dances performed in a manner that would play well on "A Prairie Home Companion," then by all means, this is for you. While it is certainly unusual to find a European period instrument group that sounds like a North American one, it looks like Les Witches will need to move forward from Nobody's Jig: Mr. Playford's English Dancing Master in order to deliver an album that is worthy of their name. © TiVo
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Classical - Released January 1, 2002 | Alpha

Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 4 étoiles Classica
Alpha Productions' Nobody's Jig: Mr. Playford's English Dancing Master appears to be the debut outing on disc by a French period instrument ensemble under the great name of Les Witches. This collection is made up of late seventeenth and early eighteenth century dances initially published in John Playford's English Dancing Master and related sources. Nobody's Jig: Mr. Playford's English Dancing Master is a nicely chosen program, and certainly makes for pleasant listening, as Les Witches realizes and harmonizes these mostly monophonic dances with a "Broken Consort" of violin, flute, lute/guitar, viola da gamba, and clavichord/cistern, or some smaller combination derived thereof. The 32-page booklet is handsomely decorated with sometimes-oblique black and white images of the group in combination with more photo essay-styled pictures. Unfortunately, overall the music has no muscle and doesn't really inspire one to dance. The manner in which Les Witches handle pieces such as Woodycock tend to be laid-back, somber, folksy, and rather similar to the way that they play several other pieces on this disc. Some of the music is good; for example, their rendering of Drive the cold winter away/The Beggar Boy maintains at least some sense of forward momentum. Nevertheless, an awful lot of the music is centered on the flute, and after a while it gets monotonous -- percussion instruments are utilized only sparingly. There is an obvious counterpoint between the approach of Les Witches and that of the Baltimore Consort; and if one likes Baroque dances performed in a manner that would play well on "A Prairie Home Companion," then by all means, this is for you. While it is certainly unusual to find a European period instrument group that sounds like a North American one, it looks like Les Witches will need to move forward from Nobody's Jig: Mr. Playford's English Dancing Master in order to deliver an album that is worthy of their name. © TiVo
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Classical - Released February 12, 2013 | Alpha

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Hi-Res Audio
The collection of Baroque, Renaissance, and folk instruments described on the cover of this release from France's Alpha label, one of an ongoing series of Irish music releases, sounds unusual. The violin and the large group of low plucked and bowed strings bespeak a conventional Baroque sonata group, but what of the Irish harp played by Siobhán Armstrong? The rest of the musicians are French and English, and as a whole the album is a kind of fusion: between classical and folk, Continental and Celtic. In fact there is some historical evidence that performances like these took place in Ireland in the 17th and 18th centuries; several collections of Irish harp melodies like these were published, while music in the Italian Baroque style, via England, existed at the same time, and it is possible that the two were combined. The tunes, all instrumental despite the vocal-sounding titles of some of them, are of an Irish cast, with mournful modal melodies that don't vary the mood greatly over the album's 18 tracks. Yet the realization is nothing if not varied, with the mysterious sound of Armstrong's early Irish harp weaving its way around the more conventional accompaniment. It's quite lovely, and played at a gathering it's sure to generate questions as to just what in the world is going on. An offbeat and novel sound that is something more than purely speculative. © TiVo
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Classical - Released February 12, 2013 | Alpha

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Hi-Res Audio
The collection of Baroque, Renaissance, and folk instruments described on the cover of this release from France's Alpha label, one of an ongoing series of Irish music releases, sounds unusual. The violin and the large group of low plucked and bowed strings bespeak a conventional Baroque sonata group, but what of the Irish harp played by Siobhán Armstrong? The rest of the musicians are French and English, and as a whole the album is a kind of fusion: between classical and folk, Continental and Celtic. In fact there is some historical evidence that performances like these took place in Ireland in the 17th and 18th centuries; several collections of Irish harp melodies like these were published, while music in the Italian Baroque style, via England, existed at the same time, and it is possible that the two were combined. The tunes, all instrumental despite the vocal-sounding titles of some of them, are of an Irish cast, with mournful modal melodies that don't vary the mood greatly over the album's 18 tracks. Yet the realization is nothing if not varied, with the mysterious sound of Armstrong's early Irish harp weaving its way around the more conventional accompaniment. It's quite lovely, and played at a gathering it's sure to generate questions as to just what in the world is going on. An offbeat and novel sound that is something more than purely speculative. © TiVo
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Classical - Released July 10, 2008 | Alpha

Distinctions Diapason d'or - Choc du Monde de la Musique
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Classical - Released January 1, 2004 | Alpha

Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Choc du Monde de la Musique
Another supremely high-concept disc superlatively executed, this package called Bara Faustus' Dreame performed by Les Witches and produced by Alpha is essentially a recital of soulfully sorrowful songs and deeply despairing dances by Dowland, Morley, Byrd, Philips, and others. Mixing mournful instrumental pieces bearing names like Pavana Dolorosa with doleful songs with titles like "In darkness let me dwell," the program is certain to incite even the most optimistic to embrace nihilism. Performed with consummate artistry by the instrumental ensemble called Les Witches, augmented with the complete sympathy of vocalizing guest Witches, the recital is sure to drive even the most happy folks to unassuageable hopelessness. Produced with the standard lush sound, customary sumptuous notes, and usual lavish art reproductions by Alpha, the package is bound to please even the most discriminating record collectors. Any listener looking for a reason to do themselves in can be positive of finding at least one if not several in Bara Faustus' Dreame. © TiVo
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Classical - Released May 21, 2010 | Alpha

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Hi-Res Audio
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Classical - Released October 7, 2014 | Alpha

Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or
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Film Soundtracks - Released September 30, 2014 | Alpha

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Classical - Released October 3, 1997 | HORTUS

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Classical - Released January 1, 2004 | Alpha

Booklet
Another supremely high-concept disc superlatively executed, this package called Bara Faustus' Dreame performed by Les Witches and produced by Alpha is essentially a recital of soulfully sorrowful songs and deeply despairing dances by Dowland, Morley, Byrd, Philips, and others. Mixing mournful instrumental pieces bearing names like Pavana Dolorosa with doleful songs with titles like "In darkness let me dwell," the program is certain to incite even the most optimistic to embrace nihilism. Performed with consummate artistry by the instrumental ensemble called Les Witches, augmented with the complete sympathy of vocalizing guest Witches, the recital is sure to drive even the most happy folks to unassuageable hopelessness. Produced with the standard lush sound, customary sumptuous notes, and usual lavish art reproductions by Alpha, the package is bound to please even the most discriminating record collectors. Any listener looking for a reason to do themselves in can be positive of finding at least one if not several in Bara Faustus' Dreame. © TiVo
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Classical - Released January 1, 2002 | Outhere - Rewind

Booklet
Alpha Productions' Nobody's Jig: Mr. Playford's English Dancing Master appears to be the debut outing on disc by a French period instrument ensemble under the great name of Les Witches. This collection is made up of late seventeenth and early eighteenth century dances initially published in John Playford's English Dancing Master and related sources. Nobody's Jig: Mr. Playford's English Dancing Master is a nicely chosen program, and certainly makes for pleasant listening, as Les Witches realizes and harmonizes these mostly monophonic dances with a "Broken Consort" of violin, flute, lute/guitar, viola da gamba, and clavichord/cistern, or some smaller combination derived thereof. The 32-page booklet is handsomely decorated with sometimes-oblique black and white images of the group in combination with more photo essay-styled pictures. Unfortunately, overall the music has no muscle and doesn't really inspire one to dance. The manner in which Les Witches handle pieces such as Woodycock tend to be laid-back, somber, folksy, and rather similar to the way that they play several other pieces on this disc. Some of the music is good; for example, their rendering of Drive the cold winter away/The Beggar Boy maintains at least some sense of forward momentum. Nevertheless, an awful lot of the music is centered on the flute, and after a while it gets monotonous -- percussion instruments are utilized only sparingly. There is an obvious counterpoint between the approach of Les Witches and that of the Baltimore Consort; and if one likes Baroque dances performed in a manner that would play well on "A Prairie Home Companion," then by all means, this is for you. While it is certainly unusual to find a European period instrument group that sounds like a North American one, it looks like Les Witches will need to move forward from Nobody's Jig: Mr. Playford's English Dancing Master in order to deliver an album that is worthy of their name. © TiVo
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Classical - Released May 21, 2010 | Alpha

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Classical - Released February 12, 2013 | Alpha Classics

Hi-Res Booklet
The collection of Baroque, Renaissance, and folk instruments described on the cover of this release from France's Alpha label, one of an ongoing series of Irish music releases, sounds unusual. The violin and the large group of low plucked and bowed strings bespeak a conventional Baroque sonata group, but what of the Irish harp played by Siobhán Armstrong? The rest of the musicians are French and English, and as a whole the album is a kind of fusion: between classical and folk, Continental and Celtic. In fact there is some historical evidence that performances like these took place in Ireland in the 17th and 18th centuries; several collections of Irish harp melodies like these were published, while music in the Italian Baroque style, via England, existed at the same time, and it is possible that the two were combined. The tunes, all instrumental despite the vocal-sounding titles of some of them, are of an Irish cast, with mournful modal melodies that don't vary the mood greatly over the album's 18 tracks. Yet the realization is nothing if not varied, with the mysterious sound of Armstrong's early Irish harp weaving its way around the more conventional accompaniment. It's quite lovely, and played at a gathering it's sure to generate questions as to just what in the world is going on. An offbeat and novel sound that is something more than purely speculative. © TiVo
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Classical - Released July 10, 2008 | Alpha Classics

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Classical - Released January 1, 2004 | Alpha Classics

Booklet
Another supremely high-concept disc superlatively executed, this package called Bara Faustus' Dreame performed by Les Witches and produced by Alpha is essentially a recital of soulfully sorrowful songs and deeply despairing dances by Dowland, Morley, Byrd, Philips, and others. Mixing mournful instrumental pieces bearing names like Pavana Dolorosa with doleful songs with titles like "In darkness let me dwell," the program is certain to incite even the most optimistic to embrace nihilism. Performed with consummate artistry by the instrumental ensemble called Les Witches, augmented with the complete sympathy of vocalizing guest Witches, the recital is sure to drive even the most happy folks to unassuageable hopelessness. Produced with the standard lush sound, customary sumptuous notes, and usual lavish art reproductions by Alpha, the package is bound to please even the most discriminating record collectors. Any listener looking for a reason to do themselves in can be positive of finding at least one if not several in Bara Faustus' Dreame. © TiVo
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Classical - Released October 28, 2014 | Alpha Classics

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Classical - Released May 21, 2010 | Alpha Classics

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Classical - Released January 1, 2002 | Alpha Classics

Booklet
Alpha Productions' Nobody's Jig: Mr. Playford's English Dancing Master appears to be the debut outing on disc by a French period instrument ensemble under the great name of Les Witches. This collection is made up of late seventeenth and early eighteenth century dances initially published in John Playford's English Dancing Master and related sources. Nobody's Jig: Mr. Playford's English Dancing Master is a nicely chosen program, and certainly makes for pleasant listening, as Les Witches realizes and harmonizes these mostly monophonic dances with a "Broken Consort" of violin, flute, lute/guitar, viola da gamba, and clavichord/cistern, or some smaller combination derived thereof. The 32-page booklet is handsomely decorated with sometimes-oblique black and white images of the group in combination with more photo essay-styled pictures. Unfortunately, overall the music has no muscle and doesn't really inspire one to dance. The manner in which Les Witches handle pieces such as Woodycock tend to be laid-back, somber, folksy, and rather similar to the way that they play several other pieces on this disc. Some of the music is good; for example, their rendering of Drive the cold winter away/The Beggar Boy maintains at least some sense of forward momentum. Nevertheless, an awful lot of the music is centered on the flute, and after a while it gets monotonous -- percussion instruments are utilized only sparingly. There is an obvious counterpoint between the approach of Les Witches and that of the Baltimore Consort; and if one likes Baroque dances performed in a manner that would play well on "A Prairie Home Companion," then by all means, this is for you. While it is certainly unusual to find a European period instrument group that sounds like a North American one, it looks like Les Witches will need to move forward from Nobody's Jig: Mr. Playford's English Dancing Master in order to deliver an album that is worthy of their name. © TiVo
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Classical - Released January 1, 2002 | Outhere

Booklet
Alpha Productions' Nobody's Jig: Mr. Playford's English Dancing Master appears to be the debut outing on disc by a French period instrument ensemble under the great name of Les Witches. This collection is made up of late seventeenth and early eighteenth century dances initially published in John Playford's English Dancing Master and related sources. Nobody's Jig: Mr. Playford's English Dancing Master is a nicely chosen program, and certainly makes for pleasant listening, as Les Witches realizes and harmonizes these mostly monophonic dances with a "Broken Consort" of violin, flute, lute/guitar, viola da gamba, and clavichord/cistern, or some smaller combination derived thereof. The 32-page booklet is handsomely decorated with sometimes-oblique black and white images of the group in combination with more photo essay-styled pictures. Unfortunately, overall the music has no muscle and doesn't really inspire one to dance. The manner in which Les Witches handle pieces such as Woodycock tend to be laid-back, somber, folksy, and rather similar to the way that they play several other pieces on this disc. Some of the music is good; for example, their rendering of Drive the cold winter away/The Beggar Boy maintains at least some sense of forward momentum. Nevertheless, an awful lot of the music is centered on the flute, and after a while it gets monotonous -- percussion instruments are utilized only sparingly. There is an obvious counterpoint between the approach of Les Witches and that of the Baltimore Consort; and if one likes Baroque dances performed in a manner that would play well on "A Prairie Home Companion," then by all means, this is for you. While it is certainly unusual to find a European period instrument group that sounds like a North American one, it looks like Les Witches will need to move forward from Nobody's Jig: Mr. Playford's English Dancing Master in order to deliver an album that is worthy of their name. © TiVo