This is a rather out-of-the-way recording which I happened to stumble across, and I'm very glad I did. It's a fascinating, often lovely and always hugely enjoyable disc of music for recorder ensemble from the 13th- to the 17th Centuries.
Much of this music was unfamiliar to me but several of the composers are very familiar - Josquin, Weelkes, Henry VIII, Marcello and Couperin to name just a few. It's a great programme, tracing the development of recorder music through the period but never sounding like an instructional treatise. The Pro Arte Recorder Ensemble are excellent throughout, using, as they proudly tell us, seven different sizes of recorder from the 10cm exilent to the 1.3 metre Grand Bass. They make a wonderful sound together, delicately augmented by a little percussion and viola da gamba or clavicord continuo in places. My sole reservation about the disc is that I find if I play it all the way through the sound of the recorder ensemble begins to get a little samey, but shorter sections at a time are an absolute joy.
I think anyone with any interest in early music will love this disc. It's fine music, excellently played and very well recorded. The presentation is attractive and the notes very informative (if a little on the dry side). This was a very happy find for me and I recommend it warmly.