Ensemble Cançonièr’s new CD entitled The Black Dragon might be the first of its kind. I know of no other recording devoted to the music from the time of Vlad Dracula (roughly the middle of the 15th Century).
Directors Annette Bauer and Tim Rayborn have put together an enticing program which includes a musical setting of the famous poem about Dracula’s horrific deeds. A fascinating array of traditional and courtly music from the Balkans rounds out the selections—all beautifully performed.
With so many recordings of Johann Sebastian Bach’s Mass in B minor commercially available, you wonder whether releasing another one is worth it. In the case of the Dunedin Consort Players’ version, the answer is absolutely yes.
Director John Butt has opted for small forces whose power the effect of a large ensemble. Overall, the performance is the best I’ve heard on recording in years—moving, powerful, and energized.