Tuesday, 15 July 2014

David Munrow Blows

David Munrow is one of our favourite people: clever, passionate, generous, multi-talented, his sudden death in 1976 was a tremendous loss, not only to Early Music, which he worked so hard to popularise, but to the world in general. People like David are in short supply: we can’t afford to lose them.

Not long before he died, David made a great television show called‘Early Musical Instruments’. Each week, he would talk about a group of instruments and he and his friends would demonstrate them. Despite the paucity of that description it is absolutely riveting viewing. 

The best bits are when David cuts loose on one of the many instruments that he was expert in playing – this may be music from antiquity, but David ensures it doesn’t sound like it should be in a museum. His enthusiasm and animation and immersion in the moment bring it all to life in the most vivid terms.

When David Munrow plays it, Early Music swings. No wonder he gets so puffed out.  



Tudor Top of the Pops

Speaking of Early Music and the much missed David Munrow, here's a couple of nicely garish sleeves for the soundtracks of some heavyweight early 70's BBC dramas, as played by David and the Early Music Consort of London.

Keith Michell (top, middle) came to be closely associated with the role of Henry VIII until he made that record about Captain Beaky, after which he became associated with Captain Beaky - and unemployment. He's still alive, by the way. Keith Michell, I mean: Captain Beaky died in a Hong Kong hotel room many years ago. The circumstances, naturally, were mysterious. 

The above is from Pseudoscientific World of Tomtit Blog

Monday, 14 July 2014

Peter Maxwell Davies, and Taverner

Some negative comment on Munrows Consort to Peter Maxwell Davies Taverner. Reference is also made to Ken Russell, and The Devils film.

Peter Maxwell Davies

The British composer has been celebrating his 75th birthday with a production of his ambitious opera, Taverner. It's a work that had a far from auspicious start, as he explains

How did you come to write this large-scale opera?

I was a postgraduate and started really serious work on it in 1962 when I was studying with the composer Roger Sessions at Princeton University. But I never thought it would be put on, and it was an unpractical work in that it had stage bands and a lot of people in the cast. Quite apart from being inexperienced, I made no compromise whatever about the difficulty with the instrumental music, or difficulty with the singing ? it was just exactly as I wanted it to be done and heard in my head.

So how did it come to be staged by the Royal Opera at Covent Garden in 1972?

Edward Downes, bless his heart, had the idea that Covent Garden might like to do this; he wasn?t the music director but he had a certain amount of clout. So I went to Sir Georg Solti?s house ? he was then in charge of the Opera House ? and played it as a piano duet in this very posh house somewhere in London. And he said no he didn?t like it ? Covent Garden wouldn?t do it. But then the direction changed with Colin Davis, who thought it was a good idea. Ken Russell, with whom I was working with at the time on [the films] The Boyfriend and The Devils, said he would direct the production. But then he actually heard some of the music and said ?No I won?t!?. It was a bit unfair because it was played on the piano, and a piano reduction of a big score like this doesn?t sound that wonderful, so you get a very jaundiced earful. Anyway Michael Geliot was brought in and he did it.

How successful was that production?

It was very well received; it had a very famous set by Ralph Koltai that was the prima donna of the whole thing. The audiences were good, but I don?t think the music made much of an impression. Ted Downes conducted, but there was a lot to fight with. First of all I didn?t have any clout ? nobody took any notice of anything I had to say. So for instance the instruments playing the early music, David Munrow?s group, were off-stage and the sound that piped through into the Opera House was just dismal ? it was a distant squeaking and you couldn?t hear it at all. The chorus was hopeless ? they thought the music rubbish and they weren?t prepared to work at it. The orchestra were a little bit better but it didn?t really ?sound?, and the result was a total flop from that point of view.

But now you have this recording.

I?m absolutely delighted that this wonderful recording with Oliver Knussen is out, and I?m absolutely delighted by the quality of the sound, the editing, the singing and the playing ? it?s fabulous. It wasn?t a performance: it?s a studio recording that was all put together in 1996 for a broadcast bit by bit. But then lo and behold, for my 75th birthday, in Glasgow it [was done in November] by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, a wonderful cast and a children?s choir; and the choir of the Glasgow University and the Royal Academy of Music and Drama are doing a far better job than ever the Royal Opera House chorus did all those years ago ? they can actually sing the notes and do it without grumbling!

Interview by Daniel Jaff?

Peter Maxwell Davies's Taverner is reviewed in the January issue of BBC Music Magazine

Audio clip: Taverner: Act Two, Scene 3: The Chapel
Martyn Hill (tenor), David Wilson-Johnson (baritone); BBC Symphony Orchestra/Oliver Knussen
NMC D157

Friday, 11 July 2014

Two Interesting Entries..

« on: January 05, 2012, 10:41:42 AM »

I found the following in the World Catalog. The first item refers to an OU recording, and the second to the Chaucer programme in which DM, and his Consort did the music.

English consort music

Author: David Munrow; Early Music Consort of London.; Open University.; British Broadcasting Corporation.
Publisher: [Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire] : Open University ; Mt. Vernon, N.Y. : Gould Media [distributor] , [197-?]
Series: Renaissance and Reformation. 
Edition/Format:  Audiobook on Cassette : Cassette recording : English 
Summary: Side 1: Illustrated talk with performances by the Early Music Consort of London. Side 2: Did the growth of central government encourage th Reformation?
Rating: (not yet rated) 0 with reviews - Be the first.

Chaucer's tale

Author: Nevill Coghill; Ewan MacColl; Gary Watson; Ian McMillan; Ian Dalrymple; All authors
Publisher: Santa Monica, Calif. : BFA Educational Media, [1970]
Edition/Format:  DVD video : English 
Summary: Depicts the various institutions, traditions, and forces which shaped Chaucer's life and writings. Includes medieval paintings, tapestries, and music, and portions of Chaucer's poetry.
Rating: (not yet rated) 0 with reviews - Be the first. 


Struck by lightning in Sweden

The Munrow Phenomena...

I was 9 (I'm pretty sure this was July 1971) and on tour in Sweden with the Finchley Children's Music Group, an excellent children's choir.

We performed in a church somewhere one afternoon (possibly in ?stersund), and our choirmaster, Richard Andrewe, offered to take anyone who wanted to come along to David Munrow's concert in the same church that evening. that was my first introduction to renaissance music, and my first introduction to David Munrow, a mad, charismatic pixie who captivated his audience (and me) and played amazing music.

As soon as I got back to England I got his LP The Medieval Sound and I was hooked for life. I've since been a crumhorn player for a bit (though I've gravitated to percussion in the end), and have developed a lifelong love of all kinds of bagpipes through David's introductions.

I was an avid listener to The Pied Piper - I hope that some/all of that recorded material has not been lost and will be released one day. the best week ever was Outdoor Music, some bits of which I have on an old cassette - a woman singing to her cows, and someone playing a tune on a pear leaf...

I almost got to meet David - my father, who did work for the BBC sometimes, was tentatively trying to arrange for me to meet him when we heard about his death.

In my list of top 10 happy pieces of music is a piece for chalemeau by David from the Eddie Mercx film. I've often wondered what he might have gone on to achieve. In any case, I'm very grateful for my opportunities to listen to and watch him in action.

- padmavyuha

PS It is also an ambition of mine to learn to play the baroque rackett at some point (if my hands are big enough!)
« Last Edit: September 30, 2008, 10:17:40 AM by padmavyuha »

The Montagu Encounter...

I had some email contact with Jeremy Montagu who knew David Munrow  but was somewhat critical of him. He indicated that he would only "speak out" if other people revealed the latter's "faults". His last email comment was that David Munrow  was "..commercially, artistically, and intellectually dishonest..." without giving any specific examples ofcourse. However, unlike most if not all the other pioneers (including Greenberg), Munrow was the man who really put early music on the map...


James Bowman Interview

James Bowman gives some reference to David Munrow 

In search of a voice: James Bowman interviewed

We met in an unusually empty bar in the rather posh Athanaeum Club, in the wake of the July 2005 London bombings. ?Usually?, Bowman joked, ?it?s full of sleeping Vicars, over in the other corner?. The comment set the tone for the interview: he has a wonderful sense of humour, and humanity and humility. And loves talking. Determined to keep to musical matters, I vowed not to be sidetracked by his humorous anecdotes. But one, I have to say, is worth repeating. The time when in France, his billing as an ?alto? meant that a group of viola enthusiasts turned up. How would he play the Schumann pieces, the Brahms or the Hindemith? The venue for our interview, and the fact that I forgot to wear a tie?dress-code for the club?underlined one driving force of his career: his quintessential Englishness.

In his teens his life?s ambition was to sing in the choir at King?s College Cambridge?an ambition to be fulfilled somewhat later, not least in his recording of The Messiah with Willcocks. He?s never been far from the Anglican Choral Tradition and he has returned to singing on Sundays in the Chapel Royal in London. ?I come from the English Cathedral Choral background; the English literary and artistic tradition? he confessed proudly, ?and much as I love the French, I wouldn?t want to live there?. Nor does he sing French Music, though he counts Debussy amongst his greatest musical enthusiasms.

English Music is at the heart of his repertoire?lute songs, Purcell and now Britten, Tippett and some of their pastoral forebears. His admiration for English Song is at the heart of this recording, and he still regrets Britten?s early death: he would certainly have written for Bowman again had he lived longer. I asked him whether Purcell had a particular understanding of the counter-tenor voice. He thought not. More important was to transpose the songs into exactly the right key for your voice. We turned back to Britten, above all the composer who took the trouble to get to know his voice intimately, and this knowledge is reflected in the parts he wrote specifically for Bowman?The voice of Apollo, for example, in Death in Venice.

In search of comments deeper than those which are biographical or anecdotal, I asked what it was that made his voice what it is? And why is it so different from the other counter-tenor stars, or indeed ?haute-contres?? His voice broke late, and he is adamant that it was important that he cultivated it before having tried out his bass voice. As a boy singer at Ely he developed a precocious envy for the alto parts of five-part voice-anthems by composers such as Weelkes and Tomkins, and so became a boy-alto rather than a boy-treble.

He read Modern History at New College Oxford: ?I got a fourth?, he jokes, but confessed that the music making at the College and elsewhere in Oxford, ?in some wonderful concerts, and some awful ones? was invaluable experience. The counter-tenor voice was still very much a rarity, but it was also beginning to become a cult amongst Early-Music enthusiasts: Bowman was in the right place at the right time, with the right?more than right? attributes. He cut his teeth with three entirely different set-ups: firstly David Munrow, whose Early Music Consort limelighted him in repertoire spanning three centuries and captivated audiences at home and abroad, but particularly in the USA. After Munrow?s death, the EMC?s harpsichordist Christopher Hogwood founded the Academy of Ancient Music and gave Bowman the opportunity to explore the Baroque repertoire for solo voice?a recording of the Vivaldi Stabat Mater became particularly celebrated. Before this, Bowman?s involvement with contemporary music had also made a triumphant start, spearheaded by his successful audition for the part of Oberon in Britten?s A Midsummer Night?s Dream. ?One thing that helped me get the part was that I took the trouble to learn a section of the opera. The others just brought party-pieces?. Among other composers who have written pieces for him are Richard Rodney Bennett, Gordon Crosse, Robin Holloway, Alan Ridout, Geoffrey Burgon and Elisabeth Lutyens.

He went on to take on more and more large-scale operatic roles for which his basic instinct as a ?show off? (his confession) carried him along, as did his ability ?to make a lot of noise?. Semele with Mackerras at English National Opera was a highlight, as were the Cavalli roles he sung for Raymond Leppard. He wasn?t a great one for teachers: it was just ?get on with it? in the early days. But what about the voice itself? Why, I wondered, was he so different from Scholl, or Esswood or an haute-contre such as Visse?

?Well you can hear I?ve got quite a deep speaking voice. Talking to you now, quite quietly, is actually very good for warming up my voice. If I work on placing my speaking voice low, it gives a sort of cavern in which my alto voice can resonate. If you take those other singers you mentioned?wonderful singers by the way?their speaking voices are much more like their singing voices. Mine isn?t at all?.

He freely admits to a period in the 70s when his voice suffered a breakdown. It was in the wake of the deaths of both Britten and Munrow, and came at a period when he was clearly doing too much. He worked on it with Barbara Alden.

How did the voice re-emerge? ?With a much more secure technique?, he judged, ?And with far more colours. You know I was all bright and boyish when I was younger, now the voice had darkened, and I had lost a bit at the top?.

He studied with Lucy Manen when younger but his most influential teachers have clearly been those with whom he worked, from the cathedral choirmasters, through professional colleagues (Pears was a particular influence: ?such generosity to younger singers?) and also instrumentalists. ?I think of myself in some ways as instrumentally oriented. I learn particularly from baroque players, their phrasing, bowing, the way they shape bass lines. Sometimes I feel I interact more with instrumentalists than with other singers?.

What?s going to happen when he retires? Like many singers, he?s adamant he won?t go on too long. It didn?t seem a happy thought. ?I?m not much good at teaching?, he mused overmodestly, but perked up at the idea of masterclasses. He seemed particularly keen on coaching singers away from his own repertoire: Wagner, Debussy? One thing?s for sure: he?d always have something to say.

Richard Langham Smith

James Bowman writes :
All the pieces on this recording were chosen because of their connections with people, events and places that have influenced my years as a singer; they form a musical panorama showing the different stages of myself as a performer, from church music to the opera stage.

As a chorister at Ely Cathedral in the 1950s we sang a great deal of plainchant. The Sunday morning Mass always contained chanted items and the office hymn at our daily evensong was always sung to the appropriate plainchant setting. Although ours was not the Roman Rite, I wanted to include the Salve Regina as this is plainchant at it best.

I was introduced to the songs of John Dowland by the late Robert Spencer, a wonderful lutenist and teacher of English song. His knowledge of Dowland was unparalleled, and he taught me all I know about lute songs. Being a singer himself, he understood the importance of words as well as melody. If my complaints could passions move shows Dowland at his melancholy best. The accompaniment is played here on the Ottavino or spinetta ottavina, an octave spinet, extremely popular during the 17th and 18th centuries.

Purcell has always been central to my repertoire, as indeed he should be to all Counter tenors. Here the deities approve the God of music occupies a very special place on this disc, as it was the first piece of Purcell that I ever sang in public, in 1956 to be precise. My school at Ely had a very enlightened Director of Music, Dr Arthur Wills, who was also Cathedral Organist. For our Summer concert he proposed a performance of the Purcell Ode ?Welcome to all the pleasures? from which this air is taken. A guest Counter tenor was engaged from one of the Cambridge College choirs to sing the alto solos, and I was a member of the chorus. However, at the last moment, the visitor from Cambridge became unavailable, and I was deputed to sing in his place. Although I was actually still singing on the remains of my Treble voice, the Counter tenor range was beginning to appear and it was the moment when I decided that this was the voice for me.

The other Purcell songs in this group, Sweeter than roses, I attempt from love?s sickness to fly and Fairest Isle were all particular favourites of my great friend and colleague, David Munrow, who sadly died in 1976. He loved Purcell and also the voice of Alfred Deller; he claimed that Alfred?s recording of Sweeter than roses introduced him to the beauties of Purcell?s Music. Many of our programmes with the Early Music Consort contained one or more Purcell songs.

Handel is obviously another key figure. He wrote very little for the male falsetto, preferring to concentrate on the Castrato voice. However, with the disappearance of that voice, the field is open for the Counter tenor to explore the Alto castrato repertoire. By great good fortune the two voices occupy virtually the same vocal range, namely low g to high d. Female singers tend to find this a little low, but it is ideal for the Counter tenor. The title role in Giulio Cesare is a good example of this. Handel wrote many Italian Cantatas, of which there are a number for the Alto voice. In most cases the texts are inconsequential, the usual vapid declarations of unrequited love, but the cantata Ho fuggito amore has a strong text written by Paolo Rolli, who wrote opera libretti for both Handel and Bononcini.

The aria Tacer?, pur che fedele is a little gem from Agrippina. It is set over an almost Purcellian ground bass with no closing ritornello ? just a self contained moment of reflection, sung by Ottone in the midst of a very turbulent drama. It is an ideal piece for a recital programme.

Edmund Rubbra was a familiar figure to me during my Oxford student days; I encountered him socially on several occasions and found him to be a delightful person. His Hymn to the Virgin is a setting of anonymous medieval words, originally composed for soprano and harp. The vocal line declaims the medieval text, but clothed in a 20th century idiom.

Ralph Vaughan Williams did not write any solo music for the Counter tenor voice, but his widow, Ursula assured me that, had he been acquainted with the present generation of Counter tenors, he would have certainly been inspired to write for them. A composer with his roots in music of the Elizabethan era must surely have responded to a voice from the same background. Be that as it may, a simple piece such as the Woodcutters Song from his Opera, (or Morality as he preferred to call it) The Pilgrims Progress is ideally suited to the Counter tenor voice. I have always loved Vaughan Williams?s music and am glad of an opportunity to sing it.

And so to Britten, the single most important figure in my early years as a singer. Having auditioned for him in 1966, he literally dominated my life for the next 10 years until his untimely death in 1976, the same year as the untimely death of David Munrow. I sang the role of Oberon in his opera A Midsummer Night?s Dream countless times in ten very different productions, perhaps the most notable being the version by Peter Hall at Glyndebourne. Oberon became my alter ego, and I have never felt so at home in any other role. I can still recall the thrill of singing the part for the first time at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, with the John Piper sets from the original production.

It is only natural that I should include that moment of pure magic, the aria I know a bank, where the wild thyme blows where Britten?s genius speaks for itself. I first heard Britten?s haunting arrangement of The Sally Gardens at the Aldeburgh Festival, sung as an encore by Peter Pears accompanied by Britten at the end of one of their unforgettable duo recitals. I was immediately captivated by it and I remember asking Peter if it would suit my voice; always the kindly mentor, he encouraged me to learn it.

I find the songs of Peter Warlock endlessly fascinating; they are by no means easy to sing, as he makes quite severe demands, but the end result is invariably satisfying. His pungent, quirky accompaniments are a constant delight, and his setting of Hilaire Belloc?s The Night captures perfectly the wistfulness and yearning of the text. I first encountered the piece while at school preparing for a grade examination; I rejected it then as being too difficult.

Michael Tippett was always an enigma to me; his music, as far as I am concerned, has never been as accessible as that of Britten, and his writing for voices often seems unnecessarily wayward. He was undoubtedly a genius, but I never felt he entirely understood the human voice. I was directed by him in concert on several occasions, (I recall a particularly odd performance of the Monteverdi Vespers ? his conducting skills were somewhat unorthodox, but there was no doubt of his love for the music). However, he was the man who ?discovered? Alfred Deller at a memorable audition in Canterbury and thrust him into the limelight; for that fact alone one is grateful to him. After Alfred?s death, I went down to Wiltshire to interview Michael; he talked a great deal, but I came away none the wiser about his feelings toward Alfred.

I have included the Songs for Ariel for the simple reason that they were written for Counter tenor and first performed in a production of the Tempest at the Old Vic. They have an attractive, whimsical quality about them which makes them instantly accessible to an audience.

Herbert Howells?s King David is one of those pieces that all English singers know and respect, even if they have never actually performed it. It is arguably his most famous composition, despite his prodigious output in the field of Anglican Church music. As a singer of Church music I have sung much of his repertoire; there are many fine moments, such as his setting of the canticles for King?s College, Cambridge, but sometimes Howells can be somewhat overblown and verbose. Not so in King David The song is a model of economy and restraint, perfectly conjuring up the healing power of music. I first sang it in Westminster Abbey at a memorial service for the late Christopher Palmer.

Andrew Gant (b.1963) is the only living composer here recorded. He holds the title of ?Organist, Choirmaster and Composer of Her Majesty?s Chapels Royal? and is the present incumbent in a long and distinguished tradition. As a member of the Chapel Royal choir myself, I am therefore answerable to him and under his direction. In 2002 he wrote me a fine song cycle entitled 10 Musicians, the musicians in question being connected in some way with the Chapel Royal. Epitaph for Salomon Pavey is a setting of a touching poem, telling of the premature death of the celebrated child actor and singer from the Chapel Royal. His fame, even at the age of thirteen, must have been considerable for his demise to be lamented by none other than Ben Jonson.


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The Cambridge Music Circle

Cut and paste version of the Cambridge Music Circle with reference to DM.

http://www.diafade.co.uk/cmc/history.html   (original link)

In August 1946, a series of advertisements appeared in the local paper ? the Cambridge Daily News ? asking people interested in classical music to contact one Michael Smith, then serving in the RAF.

There was sufficient response for a meeting to be arranged at Overstream House, Victoria Avenue (now Winter Comfort). About 20 people attended and a committee was formed. The name Cambridge Music Circle was chosen and an annual subscription of 15/- (75p) was suggested. This was soon reduced to 10/- (50p), although of course there have been increases since!

The first recital was held at Overstream House using a wind-up gramophone playing 78rpm records, and the evening began with Rossini?s overture The Thieving Magpie.

In its first 16 years the Circle moved a number of times, often to cheaper accommodation. Meetings were held at the YMCA in Hills Road, the Technical College (now Anglia Ruskin University), the Copper Kettle in King?s Parade and (the best of all) the Library at the Wesley Church on Christ?s Pieces, among others.

In 1962 the Adult Tutor at Chesterton Comprehensive School, who was in charge of evening classes, invited the Circle to meet there and form a core audience for music recitals he was arranging. The Music Circle has met ever since at what is now called the Chesterton Community College.

Right from the beginning the committee invited speakers such as John Culshaw from Decca, John Lade and Basil Maine from the BBC, and J B Trend, Professor of Spanish at the University. A film Instruments of the Orchestra was hired from the Ministry of Information, and there were piano recitals by Sheila Woodman, who was to make her debut at Wigmore Hall in 1948. In 1950 there was a demonstration of the new LP records by Murdochs, a local dealer.

A regular speaker was Charles Cudworth, who became Curator of the Pendlebury Library at the Music Faculty in 1958. His speciality was eighteenth century music, and he wrote sleeve notes, revues, books and articles, as well as being a regular broadcaster.

The recitals arranged by Mr. Seal, the Adult Tutor at Chesterton, often featured music students from the University recommended by Charles Cudworth. Many of these went on to become world famous musicians, including Christopher Hogwood (the conductor, musicologist and keyboard player), Andrew Davis (the conductor) and the late David Munrow (the early music performer and historian). The Circle still arranges four live recitals each year.

In the early days the equipment was a constant problem, as much of it was secondhand. Over the years the Circle has progressed from 78s, through LPs (mono and stereo) and cassettes, to CDs.

Membership in the early days was between 60 and 80, when few people had records and relied on the radio and infrequent concerts. Numbers declined with the advent of LPs and then CDs for home listening, but the Cambridge Music Circle continues to offer the opportunity to hear both new and familiar works by a wide variety of composers and performers. In fact the availability of so much music on CD today encourages members to share their discoveries. New members of our friendly group are always welcome.

The King Testimony

The following is a testimony from Robert King who played an important part in the promotion of early music before his tragic "downfall" which will not be discussed here.

............I did indeed (as a gawky teenager) appear on "Nationwide" with Sue Lawley (with whom I immediately fell passionately in love as I thought her to be utterly gorgeous!) in either 1977 or 78 (I forget exactly when, I'm afraid). I did a few other TV and radio appearances as well...........

Yes, I was (and am still) a huge Munrow fan, and attended as many of his concerts as I could from about 1974 to 1976 (I even went to the Monteverdi and his Contemporaries concert at the QEH a few days before Munrow's death). I was only a schoolboy then, but I loved his radio shows, loved his recordings (I think I have all of them!), thought his book was a magnificent work (though I have a signed copy it was autographed, since I was at Boarding School, in my absence) - in short he was my total hero. Perhaps more significantly, he was more responsible than anyone else for my going into the period instrument world. I was already captivated by its sounds, but for me, Munrow was like an electric light being switched on. His style of committed, enthusiastic, professional presentation rubbed off on me, as did his stylish, well constructed concert programme planning. Following (rather poorly) in his footsteps, as a teenager I taught myself to play all sorts of renaissance woodwind instruments, and then, since I couldn't afford to buy many of them, I taught myself how to make them - I taught my self woodturning and made crumhorns and cornamuses and kortholts, and also enjoyed a flourishing trade in gemshorn making (I made these for many shops and clients across the world, and even saw one of my gemshorns in someone's cupboard recently that he had bought from a shop in Australia that I supplied - ironically that man is now a Trustee of TKC!). I gave lecture-recitals in which I played dozens of folk and renaissance woodwind instruments that I'd collected from across the world. In the end when TKC got going properly and became a baroque orchestra, rather than a renaissance group (which is sort of how it worked before it became TKC, if you see what I mean), my wind playing ceased (I was a pretty lousy player, to be honest) and I sold most of the bought instruments so that people would play them regularly.

I don't think that many of my playing colleagues in TKC worked for Munrow - almost everyone who plays for TKC is younger than me. Of course James Bowman is perhaps the most in the know of Munrow (though I have never got out of James very much about Munrow - he basically just said something like "David went mad" and that was it) but he has occasionally recounted a few amusing stories of Munrow teasing Chris Hogwood whilst on tour. And James still keeps in touch with Gillian Reid, I believe. And Jasper Parrott surely must know a few stories as he looked after EMC.

Sadly I didn't meet Munrow in person, but such was his magnetic personality that I felt that I had: when he died I (as a 15-16 year old) was absolutely devastated.

The Music of the Crusaders

The following two reviews appear to be reasonably informed reviews on DMs classic Music of the Crusades. They emanate from Amazon.

 Marvelous recreations of music from the time of the Crusades, 6 July 2004
By  Lawrance M. Bernabo (The Zenith City, Duluth, Minnesota) 

This review is from: Music of the Crusades (Audio CD)

Of the "Music of the Crusades" collected on this very interesting album, several actually deal with the Crusades. I am always on the look out for interesting bits of music and film that can be used in history classes to bring the period alive for students and this certainly qualifies. This album contains examples of different types of songs, sung mostly in French and Latin. The lyrics alone are fascinating ("The French are degenerate if they refuse to support God, for I have warned them") and one song, "Ja nus hons pris," is attributed to Richard the Lion-Heart. Teachers covering the Middle Ages can certainly find a song or two to share with their students that will give them a sense of the times.
The liner notes by James Tyler explain that of the sixty-odd manuscripts surviving of troubadour and trouvere poetry, only a small number contain musical notion. Similar to the notation of Gregorian chant, these early notations give the performer a series of pitches to be sung without any indication of specific rhythmic values. Consequently, modern musical theories are used to develop these songs, taking into account the instruments of the period (lute, bells, harp, tabor, etc.) that we know existed from contemporary pictorial and literary evidence. So, I have to think that music students will find this album of interest as well. Performed by the Early Music Consort of London, I can certainly appreciate the effort made to achieve authenticity. Of course, we can never know how accurate these recreations are, but I certainly do not consider that a problem. I have been listening to several similar albums of music from this period, and this is the best I have heard so far.

 A trip through history, 4 Jan 2006

By  Kurt Messick "FrKurt Messick" (London, SW1) - 

This review is from: Music of the Crusades (Audio CD)

The time of the Crusades spanned several centuries, from the time Pope Urban II called upon Christendom to fight for Jerusalem until the thirteenth century (this does not include the numerous minor, unnumbered crusades, sometimes against other Christians). The Crusades became for many in the Middle Ages a romantic ideal; the appeal for those who would join the Crusades was two-fold, both riches in this world and salvation in the next.
In this collection, the texts of the songs are primarily contemporary with the Crusades, although a few come from later troubadour and folk songs. Some songs here directly relate to the Crusades in content (for example, Pax in nomine Domini!), whereas others are songs contemporary with and popular among the Crusaders, but have no direct relation to the Crusades. 'Ja nus hons pris' is one such song, which has origins attributed to one of the most famous of the Crusaders, Richard the Lionhearted.

One of the problems with music from this time period is that very little written material exists. What music notation there is often is reminiscent of Gregorian chant - there are markers for pitch, but nothing for rhythmic values, melodies, etc. Similarly, the types of instruments are often not listed for particular songs, so it becomes educated guesswork as to the instruments used - lutes, rebec, wind instruments, percussion, etc.

The performances here are wonderful and full. The Early Music Consort of London recorded this first for vinyl in 1970; this CD is a reissue, well engineered. David Munrow was the director as well as performer on recorder, fluet, shawm, crumhorn and bagpipes. Munrow's talents are well suited to this kind of medieval music. Among the other performers are soprano Christina Clarke, counter tenors James Bowman and Charles Brett, tenor Nigel Rogers and baritone Geoffrey Shaw. Musicians include Eleanor Sloan on treble rebec, Oliver Brookes on bass rebec, James Tyler on lute and citole, Gillian Reid on the bells, Christopher Hogwood on harp, organ, nakers and tabor, and James Blades on nakers and tabor.

This recording is superb, a great addition to an early music library, and a joy to have as a CD - I had the vinyl of this, but over time it warped in storage, and I was very sad to have lost such a brilliant collection of music. Here it is again, restored and full of power and life

A Rare Recording, and Bruno Turner.


David Munrow had some dealings with Bruno Turner, and collaborated with a rare recording known as Love, Lust, Piety, and Politics...What a title! Here, are some details on BT, and then some info on the recording...

Bruno Turner

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaJump to: navigation, search
Bruno Turner is a British musicologist, choral conductor, broadcaster, publisher and businessman.

Contents [hide]
1 Life
2 Mapa Mundi
3 Musicologist and Conductor
4 Selected discography
5 References
6 External links

[edit] LifeThe son of a motor spares magnate, Turner went on holiday to Sweden shortly after the Second World War. Discovering that their wallcovering industry (in effect, wallpaper for commercial premises) was unaffected due to the country's neutral status, Turner realised the potential in post-war England which he rightfully expected would experience a boom in building after the damage it had experienced at the hands of the Luftwaffe. On the spot, he bought vast amounts and had them shipped to England. Despite the fury of his father, Turner proved right in his evaluation and the stock was almost instantly sold out. Upon inheriting the company, Turner fully switched the ailing company from motor spares to wallcovering, thereby saving many jobs in a depressed part of London. Furthermore, having experienced a brief spell of unemployment in his youth, Turner sought to create a more humanitarian company where a job would be for life and worked and where redundancy was almost unknown.

[edit] Mapa MundiWith his cashflow secure from Turner Wallcoverings, Bruno also turned his attention to promotion of the arts as a commentator and writer and as a conductor. In 1977 he created Mapa Mundi, a company dedicated to publishing Medieval music, a venture that again proved successful.[1]

[edit] Musicologist and ConductorTurner was a Catholic choirmaster until Vatican II, a radio broadcaster since 1958, and active as conductor and speaker.[2] Turner is the founding conductor of Pro Cantione Antiqua of London. Turner has written frequently on early music, performance practice and the rival elements in singing. In the debate on the use of vibrato in renaissance choral music Turner has consistently advocated less vibrato, but not no vibrato. "Counterpoint is only one element in the music, there is expression too and you should allow your voice to be coloured and not sing like an automaton".[3] Turner also writes as a reviewer for Early Music (magazine).

[edit] Selected discographyThe 6-LP set 'The Flowering of Renaissance Polyphony' (Geistliche Musik der Renaissance') issued on Deutsche Grammophon Archiv in the late 1970s was influential.

Ockeghem: Missa pro defunctis / Josquin Des Prez - D?ploration sur la mort d'Ockeghem. Pro Cantione Antiqua, London dir. Turner, Archiv Produktion 2533 145 [LP]
Gombert - Josquin - Jheronimus Vinders Pro Cantione Antiqua, London dir. Turner, Archiv Produktion 2533 360 [LP]
Francisco de Pe?alosa. The Complete Motets. Pro Cantione Antiqua. Hyperion.
[edit] References1.^ Biographical note in contributors' index. Companion to Medieval and Renaissance Music By Tess Knighton, David Fallows p.xix
2.^ B Turner Spanish liturgical hymns: a matter of time 1995
3.^ cited in Steven Eric Plank Choral performance: a guide to historical practice‎ 2004 p21
[edit] External linksDixon Turner Wallcoverings
Mapa Mundi homepage
Name Turner, Bruno
Alternative names 
Short description 
Date of birth 
Place of birth 
Date of death 
Place of death 
Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Bruno_Turner&oldid=453021366"
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Factbite References on Munrow

    A list of references on DM from Factbite might be of interest!

David Munrow: The Times Obituary - Sidebar - MSN Encarta
  David Munrow: The Times Obituary - Sidebar - MSN Encarta 
  This obituary for David Munrow appeared in The Times on May 17, 1976. 
  A crumhorn is a wind instrument that dates from the Renaissance.
 uk.encarta.msn.com /sidebar_1461500293/David_Munrow_The_Times_Obituary.html   (52 words)

     Encyclopedia: David Munrow
  David Munrow (August 12, 1942 - May 15, 1976) was a musician and early music historian. 
  In 1960 David Munrow went to Peru, teaching English under the British Council Overseas Voluntary Scheme. 
  Munrow committed suicide in 1976, while suffering from depression.
 www.nationmaster.com /encyclopedia/David-Munrow   (1301 words)

  David Munrow was the pioneer in England of the early music revival. 
  David Munrow was keen on spreading the revivalist gospel and his proselytising activity included projects like The Mediaeval Sounds LP which was a documentary record in which he introduced mediaeval instruments. 
  David Munrow lived under pressure and tragically committed suicide in 1976 at the age of 34.
 www.fluxeuropa.com /david_munrow.htm   (153 words)

     David Munrow (1942-1976) - A discography
  David Munrow's passion for early music and musical instruments commenced in 1960 when he was 18. 
  Deller Consort - Alfred Deller, dir and Morley Consort - David Munrow, dir. 
  Munrow and Marriner: Telemann - Sammartini - Handel
 www.medieval.org /emfaq/performers/munrow.html   (2281 words)

     David Munrow -- Facts, Info, and Encyclopedia article   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-27)
  David Munrow (August 12 1942 - May 15 1976) was a musician and (additional info and facts about early music) early music historian. 
  In 1960 David Munrow went to (A republic in western South America; achieved independence from Spain in 1821; was the heart of the Inca empire from the 12th to 16th centuries) Peru, teaching English under the (additional info and facts about British Council) British Council Overseas Voluntary Scheme. 
  Munrow committed (The act of killing yourself) suicide in 1976, while suffering from depression.
 www.absoluteastronomy.com /encyclopedia/d/da/david_munrow.htm   (770 words)

     Excellent CDs From Dorian And Testament Celebrate 15th, 16th And 17th-Century Music Review By John Shinners   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-27)
  David Munrow's suicide in 1976 cut short the career of one of the pioneers and most zealous advocates of the movement for historically informed performance. 
  At that time Munrow pointed out that this was the first film scored entirely for historical instruments, and several of the authentic pieces he used were at the time unpublished. 
  Munrow's own faux Tudor pieces are generally convincing, though they sometimes slip into a moody1970s style that betrays their provenance.
 www.enjoythemusic.com /Magazine/music/1104/classical/various.htm   (1247 words)

     Classics Today.com - Your Online Guide to Classical Music   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-27)
  Although these days such attention to authenticity is common, even expected, Munrow was one of the pioneers in bringing musicological research and the more immediate practicalities of really old, original instruments and stylistic practice to the level of popular culture. 
  At least one of the pieces goes on way too long--the trying-to-be-realistically-crude Street Music--and Munrow's strikingly weird, avant-garde-like Henry's Loneliness, a truly creepy sequence written for the film that must be the most twisted use of psaltery, harp, and crwth ever devised, seems a bit extreme outside of the movie's context. 
  Munrow was an important figure in the period-performance movement (sadly, he committed suicide in 1976 at age 33), and these recordings show what a class act he and his Early Music Consort of London were.
 www.classicstoday.com /review.asp?ReviewNum=7547   (429 words)

     SoundStage! David Munrow - Henry VIII and His Six Wives, Susato...
  Early-music specialist David Munrow composed it, using period works and his own compositions for an arresting, yet scholarly correct soundtrack. 
  In his short lifetime (1942-1976), Munrow was the leader of the old-instrument movement in the United Kingdom. 
  Munrow led spirited performances, often featuring his own crackerjack recorder playing.
 www.soundstage.com /music/reviews/rev595.htm   (794 words)

     The Medieval Sound - David Munrow - CD - Baroque Music Club
  David Munrow begins by introducing them one by one, with a spoken explanation followed by a demonstration. 
  Before his untimely death David Munrow pioneered and was to become the acknowledged master of medieval instruments, performing on television, film, and making further recordings. 
  In the original note accompanying this recording, David Munrow wrote:
 www.baroquecds.com /02Web.html   (309 words)

     Court of Pleas
  Appointed Constable: ? Daniel Munrow from the mouth of the Lower Little river to Mr. 
  John Munrow recommended to the General Assembly to be exempt from public duties and taxes, be being sixty-odd years of age. 
  David Torrey (appointed) road overseer from Munro?s bridge to the fork of Yadkin Road.
 www.monroegen.org /CourtPleas.htm   (2555 words)

     ChesterNovello   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-27)
  Munrow gave many performances of both pieces, and Recorder Music was included in The Art of the Recorder (EMI Records). 
  A Memory of David Munrow was written for a BBC concert in Manchester at which Munrow was due to play, but he died tragically several months earlier. 
  Thus the music is not a celebration of what he stood for, which might be appropriate now, but an elegy under the impact of shock.
 www.chesternovello.com /work/15182/main.html   (212 words)

     Raphi's Serious Singers List : Ensembles : The Early Music Consort of London
  David Munrow, John Turner, David Pugsley, James Tyler, Andrew van der Beek, Oliver Brookes, crumhorns 
  David Munrow, soprano, alto & tenor recorders, alto & tenor shawms, tenor cornemuse 
  David Munrow, recorders, soprano & alto crumhorns, alto & bass shawm, tenor dulcian, tenor gemshorn, tenor flute
 www.landini.org /singers/groups/em-consort.html   (219 words)

     Working Dogs Book Store - Early Music Festival / David Munrow, Early Music Consort
  Italian culture during the period from the 14th to the 16th centuries was a whirlwind of developing literature and art, and during this period of history Florence was a political and cultural center to rival Milan or Verona. 
  The first CD, performed by David Munrow and the Early Music Consort, covers compositions from the 1300's, with many of the works of Francesco Landini, the most prolific Florentine composer of this period. 
  David Munrow and the Early Music Consort are superb, as I have always found them to be, and John Beckett and the Musica Reservata are equally enjoyable.
 www.workingdogs.com /bookstore/us/product/B000009DFX.htm   (507 words)

     David Munrow - 'By Subscription'
  This website aims to celebrate and inform the work of the English early music pioneer David Munrow (1942-1976). 
  In addition, a short biography will be developed, and a forum initiated for respectful discussion of aspects of Munrow's work. 
  ITV have now progressed this project and I am awaiting contractual and legal matters to be finalised before production can begin.
 www.davidmunrow.org   (141 words)

     The Musical Offering - Music of the Gothic Era
  David Munrow blazed like a bottle-rocket across the Early Music scene of the 1970s. 
  His career lasted an all-too-brief 9 years (he died in 1976), but in that time he managed to take the stodgy, academic pursuit of historically informed performance, turn it on its head and shake all the stuffing out of it. 
  The recording stands as a template for our present view of Medieval music, but its influence goes even beyond that: Munrow gave the music a universal appeal that lifted it out of academia and permanently into our concert halls.
 www.musicaloffering.com /classical/music_of_gothic_era.html   (238 words)

     INKPOT CLASSICAL MUSIC REVIEWS: Music of the Gothic Era (Codex)
  Munrow, in his usual practice, adds further colour to the music with softly chiming bells. 
  The Early Music Consort of London is one of the pioneers of the 70s' revival of Early Music, and consists of such illustrious names as Christopher Hogwood, James Bowman, Nigel North and of course the crusader himself David Munrow (1942-76), who is responsible for the 15 pages of detailed notes in the booklet. 
  The performances possess a certain degree of rigidity of rhythm, as is typical of many British groups, though the plus/fault of rhythmic freedom is a matter of the listener's personal taste.
 www.inkpot.com /classical/gothic.html   (1134 words)

     [No title]   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-27)
  Subject: Re: David Munrow rsd@sei.cmu.edu (Richard D'Ippolito) writes: >Don't know for sure, but there was an earlier (1965?) very popular >Archiv recording of Preatorious, Widmann, and Schein with early >instruments released as part of DGG's historical series that did the >trick for me. Ah, yes, _Tanzmusik der Praetorius-Zeit_, a classic recording. 
  David Kastrup has confirmed with a very simple and elegant experiment a result known to those who have studied the motion of the bowed string that in the transition from one bowing direction to another the string "rolls" about 30 degrees. 
  David Munrow (LONG) Here is a brief biography of David Munrow, taken from a radio programme, introduced by Michael Oliver, broadcast on BBC Radio 3 some years after his death.
 olymp.wu-wien.ac.at /earlym-l/logfiles/earlym-l.log9202d   (10595 words)

     Stereophile: 1992 Records To Die For
  The empty space left by David Munrow's tragic disappearance from ancient music studies and performances has never been filled. 
  Ecco La Primavera is probably David Munrow's masterwork, and one of the best-sounding records ever made. 
  The rediscovery and performance of the Italian music of the trecento is one of the most important cultural events of the late 20th century, and Munrow's care in solving philological problems shows a magic touch in the ability to preserve both musicological needs and musical pleasure.
 www.stereophile.com /records2die4/67/index4.html   (1328 words)

     Classical Net Review - Vivaldi/Mancini/Barbella/Gilles/Corrette - Archiv Reissues
  David Munrow's collection of Music of the Gothic Era, recorded back in 1975, was hailed upon its release not only for its historical value, but also for the imagination that Munrow and his colleagues showed in realizing manuscripts that often are as open-ended as they are ancient. 
  Munrow was a scholar, but he was anything but a dusty person, and his death not much later at the age of thirty-four was a major disaster for the Early Music field. 
  Again, Munrow relied upon a diverse (but, in contrast to most early efforts to bring this music forward, not inflated) cast of singers and instrumentalists to demonstrate the music's continued viability.
 www.classical.net /music/recs/reviews/a/arc71722a.html   (1452 words)

     [No title]   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-27)
  Munrow makes no mention of bowing psaltries in his (quite reputable) overview of musical instruments, and Michael Praetorius did not mention them when he cataloged all known instruments in the 16th century. 
  This is reproduced (in fl and white, alas) in David Munrow's _Instruments of the Middle Ages and Renaissance_. 
  It is _Instruments of the Middle Ages and Renaissance_, by David Munrow and the Early Music Consort of London.
 www.florilegium.org /files/PERFORMANCE-ARTS/instruments-msg.text   (17234 words)

     Amazon.com: Music Of The Crusades: Music   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-27)
  David Munrow was the director as well as performer on recorder, fluet, shawm, crumhorn and bagpipes. 
  Munrow's talents are well suited to this kind of medieval music. 
  A great debt is due to Ian Bent, Norman Clare, David Munrow, Jeremy Tilston and the performers of these pieces for the effort that was required to exhume them from the distant past and make them available today.
 www.amazon.com /exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/B0000041XJ?v=glance   (2526 words)

     [No title]
  David Way is the current head of Zuckermann Harpsichords, and he will certainly sell you a kit. 
  David Munrow was certainly no amateur, but I believe he began that way). 
  David Munrow and Walcha on Toshiba EMI from Japan I had never listened to David Munrow, but because of the interest generated by this news-group, I bought some of the Toshiba EMIs from Tower.
 www.wu-wien.ac.at /earlym-l/logfiles/earlym-l.log9203a   (8724 words)

     David Munrow   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-27)
  Discuss this name with other users on IMDb message board for David Munrow 
  Find where David Munrow is credited alongside another name 
  You may report errors and omissions on this page to the IMDb database managers.
 imdb.com /name/nm0613211   (186 words)

     Crumhorn Home Page > Crumhorn Discography
  Early Music Consort of London, David Munrow, director from "Instruments of the Middle Ages and Renaissance", Angel S-3810 
  The Early Music Consort of London, David Munrow, director from "Monteverdi's Contemporaries", Virgin Veritas 7243 5 61288 2 8 
  Early Music Consort of London, David Munrow, director from "Praetorius: Terpsichore 1612: Dances; Motets Musae Sioniae", EMI CDM 7 69024 2
 www.recorderhomepage.net /crumcds.html   (970 words)

     Mixed Up Class Playlist, 6/10/1996   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-27)
  H?ndel: O ruddier than the Cherry, from Acis and (LP: The Art of Galatea the Recorder) (Robert Lloyd, bass; Early Music Consort of London; The David Munrow Recorder Consort; David Munrow) J. 
  Bach: Schafe k?nnen sicher weiden, from Cantata (LP: The Art of 208 the Recorder) (Norma Burrows, soprano; Early Music Consort of London; The David Munrow Recorder Consort; David Munrow) J. 
  Bach: Sonatina from Cantata 106 (LP: The Art of (Early Music Consort of London; The the Recorder) David Munrow Recorder Consort; David Munrow) J.
 kzsu.stanford.edu /~romain/playlists/1996/960610p.html   (125 words)

     WNYC - Evening Music with David Garland: Beethoven's Birthday (December 17, 2004)
  Mischa Maisky and Martha Argerich are the respective instrumentalists as we hear the Sonata for Cello and Piano No. 4 in C. Some early music intervenes: Three songs from the 15th century court of Burgundy by Guillaume Dufay, performed by the Early Music Consort of London under the leadership of David Munrow. 
  A huge leap to the twentieth century for some Lou Harrison, as we hear his Serenade for Guitar and Percussion played by guitarist David Tanenbaum and percussionist William Winant. 
  David Garland, host of WNYC's Evening Music and Spinning on Air, is also a composer and a performer.
 www.wnyc.org /shows/eveningmusic_w/episodes/12172004   (314 words)

     Christopher Hogwood's web site: Archive   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-27)
  Early in his career, Christopher was a key member of the Early Music Consort of London, which was directed by David Munrow. 
  The Early Music Shop is promoting the re-release of some of the original David Munrow recordings, re-mastered and re-packaged using the 1970s masters by Testament. 
  This CD is part compiled from the soundtrack of the film in which Keith Michell played Henry, and which secured David Munrow?s reputation as a performer.
 www.hogwood.org /arc/050201b.htm   (230 words)

The Brass Trumpet Works...

The following is from the Gramophone Archive dated September 1971 Here, DM contributed to some Baroque Music from the looks of things..

BAROQUE TRUMPET WORKS. Don Smithers (trumpet), David Munrow (bassoon), Desmond Dupre. (chitarrone), Simon Preston (harpsichord and organ), Academy of St Martin- in-the-Fields conducted by Neville Marriner. items marked* with Michael Laird ( trum pet) . Philips 6500 110 (L2.30).

lacchini: Trateriimento per camera in D major. Bononcini:Si,dookt No. 10 in D majors. Telemann: Concert a quattro in D major, "di Melante". Purcell: The Indian Queen Trumpet Overture in D major; The Yorkshire Feast Song?Sinfonia in D major'. Torelll: Sonata a cinque No. 7 in D major. Grossi: Sonata S (imply No. It in D major. Schmelzer: Sonata S chigoe in C major. Vejvanovsky: Intrada in C major*.

Amazement at the ingenuity of Baroque composers in devising lively, grave and witty music for an instrument confined to around a dozen notes can sustain the listener for a good deal of the time in this record, but not, I would have thought, throughout. Skilfully and knowledgeably as Mr Smithers has chosen his selection, there is a limit to the expressive range of these concertante pieces. Clever use of scales marks the Sonata cinque by Schmelzer; others, as Iacchini in his brief burst of exuberance, do wonders with the notes of common chords ; Bononcini has a fine opening Andante to his Sinfonia for two trumpets; and Purcell, in two excerpts that have little point on their own, produces music with his characteristic ring. The finest piece is the only actual concerto, the so-called Concerto a quattro in D by "Melante", whom crossword addicts will have no trouble in de-anagramising into a much more celebrated master. His chief Allegro has a splendid jauntiness without recourse to cliche, and it is flanked by a dignified Adagio and Grave. He does well to escape so inventively from the terseness that is a natural outcome of the baroque trumpet's paucity of notes, and which Schmelzer is one of the more ingenious at turning to positive inventive ends. The performances are very bright and fetching, and excellently recorded. J.W

The Tears of the Night

David Munrow, and the Early Music Consort did some work for The Tears of Night by Elizabeth Lutyens whose bio is below.
Lutyens, (Agnes) Elizabeth (1906?1983)
English composer. Her works, using the twelve-tone system, are expressive and tightly organized, and include chamber music, stage, and orchestral works. Her choral and vocal works include a setting of the Austrian philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein's Tractatus and a cantata The Tears of Night (1971). She also composed much film and incidental music.

The youngest daughter of the architect Sir Edwin Lutyens, she married the BBC director of music Edward Clark. In a lecture at Dartington in the 1950s she coined the term ?cowpat music? to describe the work of those early 20th-century English composers who had turned to pictorial pastoralism in their music. Her works include the opera Infidelio (1956) and Fleur du silence for tenor and ensemble (1980). Her autobiography A Goldfish Bowl was published in 1973.

She studied viola and composition at the Royal College of Music in London, the latter with Harold Darke, and later with Caussade at the ?cole Normale de Musique in Paris, France.

reference wikipedia

Description on the The Tears of Night.

For Counter-Tenor, 6 Sopranos and 3 Quintets.

Quintet 1 - Treble Recorder, Lute, Bass-String Viol, Regal/Flute Organ, and Percussion.
Quintet 2 - 2 Trumpets, 2 Trombones (1 Tenor, 1 Bass), and Double Bass.
Quintet 3 - Flute, Clarinet, French Horn, Violin, and Cello.

First performed by James Bowman, Early Music Consort Of London, directed by David Munrow, Sinfonietta Chorus and Orchestra, conucted by David Atherton, 3rd March 1972.


David Munrow Cartoon



Some Important Munrow References on the Net

Book References


The following references (like certain other ones here)gives us an idea of the enormity of the musical legacy that Munrow left behind....created in a span of under 10 years!!

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Another Bio...

Artist Biography by Joseph Stevenson

David John Munrow, in his brief career, was one of the most exciting and influential leaders of the British early music movement. After he completed his school education, he taught for a year in South America. He returned to England to attend Pembroke College, Cambridge, where he read for a degree in English from 1961 to 1964. He was an avid and talented flute player and while at Cambridge founded an organization to play early music. After he graduated, he studied seventeenth century music at Birmingham University. It was his exposure to South American indigenous music, with its strong use of wooden instruments of the flute family, that stimulated his interest in such instruments, including the recorder.
At that time, interest in England in early music was growing. Munrow found himself in great demand as a recorder player. In 1967, he founded the Early Music Consort of London, with counter tenor James Bowman, violist Oliver Brookes, lutenist James Tyler, and harpsichordist Christopher Hogwood. They gave their first performance at Louvain the same year, making a London debut in 1968. Also in 1967, he became a lecturer in early music at Leicester University. Munrow's consort shook up the regular concert world and the growing early music establishment with its performing style. Their approach was entertaining, attractive, and exuberant, even brash, without traducing the boundaries of what was known to be authentic. Suddenly, "authentic" performances were no longer scholarly affairs of main interest to academics, but popular concert events eagerly attended by the general classical music audience.
The Consort appeared on television and in an intriguing development, the group also kept an interest in contemporary music. Therefore, several living composers wrote new music -- often in the most advanced musical style -- for these old-style instruments. These included Peter Dickinson (Translations, 1971), Elisabeth Lutyens (The Tears of Night, 1972), and Peter Maxwell Davies, who used the group as the on-stage band during his opera Taverner (1972), which is about a medieval English composer.
In 1969, Munrow became a teacher of the recorder at London's Royal Academy of Music. In 1971, he started making lecture appearances on BBC radio. His show, "Pied Piper," was aimed at young listeners and had a listenership among all ages. For reasons that remain obscure, he took his own life in 1976. Had he not, he surely would have been recognized as one of the most influential musicians of the last half of the twentieth century.
Allmusic  http://www.allmusic.com/artist/david-munrow-mn0002309235/biography