Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Hortus Musicus "Italy, Secular Music of the XIVth Century" (Melodiya, 1976)

This is a sort of sequel to yesterday's post. Hortus Musicus is an Estonian group specializing in pre-Renaissance music and occasionally dabbling (I'm told) in non-Western and contemporary music. The music on this record is perfectly competent, beautiful and up-to-date scholarship-wise but it's the potential band and the potential record that really get me going. As we see in the picture below, these guys were total freaks.

"This is no way to present early music to the public! Get serious!" It bolsters some suspicions I've long held about cultural life in the Soviet Union and the extent to which the platitudes we've inherited about it are wrong. Why try to be someone else's cool? What's so cool about Rock & Roll? I happen to find the music of the Italian trecento very groovy, thank you.

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