Harmonia Early Music

Piffaro and the English Renaissance

Piffaro debuts the recording "Waytes," Instrumenta Musica performs 17th-century Venetian wind music, and Florilegium explores the Bolivian Baroque.

Play Episode (Real Audio)
men and women in black with instruments

Photo: Andrew Pinkham

Piffaro (l to r: Grant Herreid, Joan Kimball, Robert Wiemken, Priscilla Smith, Greg Ingles, Christa Patton, and Tom Zajac).

The Renaissace Band Piffaro has been championing early wind music for over three decades. Led by directors Joan Kimball and Robert Wiemken, one of their more recent recordings on the Navona label features music from the English Renaissance.

Entitled Waytes, the recording takes its name from the term used in 16th-century England for town musicians, often skilled in several instruments, while some were known for their singing. Wayte is also an Old English word for shawm, an early type of oboe commonly used by town waytes.

The composers represented in Piffaro’s recording are some of the period’s most well-known, including William Byrd, John Mundy, Alfonso Ferrabosco, and Thomas Weelkes—the last of which was especially known for his madrigals, or consort songs.

Thomas Weelkes: Tan Tara Ran Tara Cries Mars, Young Cupid Hath Proclaimed, Cease Sorrows Now, A Country Paire, and Three Times a Day
Piffaro/Joan Kimball and Robert Wiemken — Waytes: English Music for a Renaissance Band (Navona, 2010)
Buy from Amazon »
album cover

Apart from arrangements of consort songs, Piffaro performs dance tunes, some traditional like the pavane and galliard, and others with evocative titles such as French King’s Masque and The Second Witch’s Dance.

Anonymous: French King's Masque and Antimasque: The Second Witch's Dance
Piffaro/Joan Kimball and Robert Wiemken — Waytes: English Music for a Renaissance Band (Navona, 2010)
Buy from Amazon »
album cover

It is next to impossible to escape mention of composer Claudio Monteverdi when speaking of Venetian music from the first half of the 17th Century. This is true for ensemble Instrumenta Musica’s Ramee recording entitled O vos amici mei carissimi, which contains works by several of Monteverdi’s contemporaries who either worked or published music in Venice.

The recording draws special attention to vocal and instrumental works that incorporate sackbuts, or trombones.

Carlo Filago: “Ego sum qui sum”
Instrumenta Musica/Ercole Nisini — “O vos amici mei carissimi”: Venetian Masters from the Time of Monteverdi (Ramee, 2008)
Buy from Amazon »
album cover

Our featured release is on the Channel Classics label and is the third part in a series devoted to baroque and early classical music found in Spanish colonial Bolivia. Ensemble Florilegium has been championing the repertoire for some time with the help of Polish priest and musicologist Piotr Nawrot.

Volume three features a collaboration between Florilegium and the Arakaendar Bolivia Choir and is a continuation, in many ways, from volume two, includes villancicos and other church pieces from Bolivian archives.

Roque Jacinto de Chavarría: “Fuera, Fuera! Haganles lugar!”
Florilegium/Ashley Solomon — Bolivian Baroque, vol. 3 (Channel Classics , 2009)
Buy from Amazon »
album cover

Thomas Weelkes: Tan Tara Ran Tara Cries Mars, Young Cupid Hath Proclaimed, Cease Sorrows Now, A Country Paire, and Three Times a Day
Piffaro/Joan Kimball and Robert Wiemken — Waytes: English Music for a Renaissance Band (Navona, 2010)
Buy from Amazon »
album cover
Robert Jones: I Come, Sweet Birds
Piffaro/Joan Kimball and Robert Wiemken — Waytes: English Music for a Renaissance Band (Navona, 2010)
Buy from Amazon »
album cover
Anonymous: French King's Masque and Antimasque: The Second Witch's Dance
Piffaro/Joan Kimball and Robert Wiemken — Waytes: English Music for a Renaissance Band (Navona, 2010)
Buy from Amazon »
album cover
Clement Woodcock: Hackney
Piffaro/Joan Kimball and Robert Wiemken — Waytes: English Music for a Renaissance Band (Navona, 2010)
Buy from Amazon »
album cover
Robert Parsons: The song called trumpets
Piffaro/Joan Kimball and Robert Wiemken — Waytes: English Music for a Renaissance Band (Navona, 2010)
Buy from Amazon »
album cover
Carlo Filago: “Ego sum qui sum”
Instrumenta Musica/Ercole Nisini — “O vos amici mei carissimi”: Venetian Masters from the Time of Monteverdi (Ramee, 2008)
Buy from Amazon »
album cover
Biagio Marini: La Foscarina
Instrumenta Musica/Ercole Nisini — “O vos amici mei carissimi”: Venetian Masters from the Time of Monteverdi (Ramee, 2008)
Buy from Amazon »
album cover
Anonymous: Missiones de Chiquitos AMCh 393 in C Major
Florilegium/Ashley Solomon — Bolivian Baroque, vol. 3 (Channel Classics , 2009)
Buy from Amazon »
album cover
Roque Jacinto de Chavarría: “Fuera, Fuera! Haganles lugar!”
Florilegium/Ashley Solomon — Bolivian Baroque, vol. 3 (Channel Classics , 2009)
Buy from Amazon »
album cover
Anonymous: Sonata "Chiquitana" No. 4, AMCh 264: I.Allegro, II.Andante, and III.Minuete
Florilegium/Ashley Solomon — Bolivian Baroque, vol. 3 (Channel Classics , 2009)
Buy from Amazon »
album cover
Bernard Gordillo

Bernard Gordillo was born in Managua, Nicaragua, and raised in New Orleans. He holds degrees from Centenary College of Louisiana, the Early Music Institute at Indiana University, and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama (London). Bernard also writes and hosts the Harmonia Early Music Podcast.

View all posts by this author »

Stay Connected

What is RSS? RSS makes it possible to subscribe to a website's updates instead of visiting it by delivering new posts to your RSS reader automatically. Choose to receive some or all of the updates from Harmonia Early Music:

More Subscription Options

Follow Us

Support For Indiana Public Media Comes From

About Harmonia Early Music

About The Hosts

Search Harmonia Early Music

where to hear harmonia