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Popular Music of the Renaissance

A Christmas Stocking Stuffer

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Popular Music of the Renaissance

Link to CD Liner Notes

Link to Renaissance Magazine Review "sublime musical expression"--wow!

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Second from the Bottom Records announces a CD by Anne and Rob Burns as A Reasonable Facsimile. Popular Music of the Renaissance is a re–release of A Reasonable Facsimile's first two albums. This double length album teams the 1987 About as Close as You Can Get with The Merry Pranks of Robin Goodfellow which was originally released in 1989.

Popular Music of the Renaissance showcases A Reasonable Facsimile's distinctive sound in lively dance tunes and ballads from the time of Shakespeare. The thirty tracks are duo arrangements in various combinations of voices and Renaissance instruments: recorders, fifes, shawms, cittern, guitar, dulcimer and percussion. The selections, from the English Dancing Master of 1651, the Roxburghe Society ballad collections, and other Renaissance music publications and manuscripts, are representative of Anne and Rob Burns's lighthearted repertoire.

The first half of the CD is subtitled Street and Popular Music of the Renaissance (and a little later). This section provides a sampling of A Reasonable Facsimile's music for all audiences. Part two of the album is described as Elizabethan Popular Music for Lads and Lasses. Drawn from Anne & Rob's children's programs, this music is enjoyable for the young at heart as well as for children.

In Popular Music of the Renaissance, A Reasonable Facsimile brings to life four hundred year old music. Their entertaining presentations combine appropriate Renaissance musical styles with sensitivity to the tastes of modern audiences. The duo's name reflects the philosophy that no performance of Renaissance music can be truly authentic, but A Reasonable Facsimile is about as close as you can get.

Anne and Rob have chosen for the album compelling English country dance tunes such as
  • Cuckolds All a Row
  • Parsons Farewell
  • Sellinger’s Round
  • Nonesuch
  • Gathering Peascods
  • Dargason
  • A Soldier’s Life

The ballads include

  • Sir Eglamore
  • Over the Mountains
  • There’s Nothing to Be Had Without Money,
  • The Mad, Merry Pranks of Robin Goodfellow
  • When Joan's Ale was New

While the music is primarily English, some Italian and French tunes are incorporated:

  • Recercada Segunda
  • Branles: Horse/Peas/Official
  • Pavan of the Battle
  • La Traditora.

Children's voices are heard on the choruses of

  • Tomorrow the Fox Will Come to Town
  • Room for Company
  • Three Blind Mice (in its earlier setting)

One of the more curious titles is

  • Of a Number of Rats Mistaken for Devils in a Man’s Slops (A Reasonable Facsimile recites this delightful 1562 poem by John Heywood)

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