Showing posts from January, 2013

Gramophone Obit July 1976.

The following comes from the Gramophone magazine. It is an article by Christopher Bishop who was Munrows producer.

August 12th, I942—May I5th, 1976

There must be many of David Munrow's friends who, like me, find it hard to accept the fact that he is dead. His continued presence on television and on records makes it even more difficult to realize fully that so vital a person has gone. He leaves behind the very happiest memories, both musical and personal.

David first bounced into my life in 1970, when we did a BBC programme together of madrigals accompanied by instruments. Basil Lam suggested that we should use David's recorder consort, and when I heard them play I realised that I had never heard recorders play in tune before. After the programme, I drove David from Broadcasting House to St John's Wood station, and on that short journey he told me about his work. That was typical of him—he never wasted a minute. Next morning he flew into my office with a tape of the full C…

Royal Albert Hall Prom Listing II

Search criteria: Showing performances by 637
Historical filter: 1890 - 2011
Total found: 59
Sorted: By date

Displaying 41 - 59 of 59
First | Previous
Monday 11 August 1975, 7:30PM

Josquin des Prez Credo super 'De tous biens plaine'

Early Music Consort of London
David Munrow conductor

Proms premiere

Monday 11 August 1975, 7:30PM

Josquin des Prez Spagna

Early Music Consort of London
David Munrow conductor

Monday 11 August 1975, 7:30PM

Antoine Brumel Missa 'Et ecce terrae motus'

- No. 2 Gloria

Early Music Consort of London
David Munrow conductor

Monday 11 August 1975, 7…

Royal Albert Hall Prom Archive Listing I

The following is a cut, and paste listing from the Royal Albert Hall archives. RS

Search criteria: Showing performances by 637
Historical filter: 1890 - 2011
Total found: 59
Sorted: By date

Displaying 1 - 40 of 59
Next | Last
Thursday 30 July 1970, 7:30PM

Francesco Landini La bionda treccia [Her blond tresses]

David Munrow medieval wind instruments/director

Early Music Consort of London

Proms premiere

Thursday 30 July 1970, 7:30PM

Francesco Landini Questa fanciulla, Amor [Love, please make this girl compassionate]

David Munrow director
Nigel Rogers tenor

Early Music Consort of London

Proms premiere

Thursday 30 July 1970, 7:30PM

Anonymous Lamento di Tristano

David M…

Examining An Earlier "Pied Piper".

Another populariser of Early Music who died just before Munrow set up his Early Music Consort was Noah Greenberg. However, the former though is still regarded by many as the greatest  populariser of Medieval, and Renaissance Music. But Noah Greenberg is certainly well worth knowing about as he played a vital role in Early Music...................


Section I

Pied Piper:
The Many Lives of
Noah Greenberg
James Gollin
(Pendragon Press
Hillsdale NY 2001)

Our Reviewer at Work                                              (ref

In 1928, Max Schachtman and a number of other comrades were expelled from the US Communist Party for heresy: they had been guilty of reading articles by Leon Trotsky, and of raising questions about the increasingly arbitrary rule of General Secretary Stalin.

The group came to be called "Trotskyists" but some --- Schachtman especially --- went much further than Trotsky in applying Marxist analysis to the USSR itself, and i…

The Crumhorn Controversy

It is said that Munrow was inspired to take up early music by seeing a crumhorn in a room occupied by Thurston Dart.....However.....

David Griffith who has a tribute site to David Munrow revealed on the forum the following..

.....According to correspondence I have received, the crumhorn may have in fact belonged to another Cambridge contemporary, John Moore. Here's what he had to say on the oft-quoted crumhorn on the wall inspiration for Munrow:

"I remember David bursting on the Cambridge music scene- I was at Jesus and he straight away threw himself with terrific energy into our musical activities. I believe on one occasion there was a Purcell production with scantily clad nymphs who we intended should be frolicing in the college grounds.The day of the production it rained and the performance had to be moved to the chapel, which caused a mild stir amongst the audience. David and I were asked by Laurence Picken to do an evening for the Asian Music circle (which also intereste…

The Papers of David Munrow at the Royal Academy of Music, London

Access to Archives Part of the UK archives network Royal Academy of Music Library
Papers of David Munrow

The hierarchical structure of this catalogue is shown below. See the entire contents of the catalogue
ReferenceDMCovering dates1908-1976Held byRoyal Academy of Music LibraryExtent706 filesConditions of accessNo access conditions apply.Archival historyPurchased in 1993 from from Iaan Wilson (occasional Early Music Consort of London member), who acquired the Munrow collection from Sotheby's. In addition to the archive material catalogued, there is a range of books (not all music-related) and scores (unmarked) owned by Munrow that will be housed as appropriate within the main body of the Library of the Royal Academy of Music (their source to be noted as David Munrow in the main catalogue). All marked scores have been incorporated in the archive.CreatorsMunrow, David John, 1942-1976, early woodwind instrumentalistArrangementThe collection is arranged as follows: DM/1, Correspondence…

Pembroke College, Cambridge

Because of his great influence Munrow was mentioned on the website on Pembroke College, Cambridge, and is here reprodouced. The full article can be seen by clicking on the link below the extract. RS

One of the most ebullient conductors of the Pembroke Singers was David Munrow (1942-1976), who entered the college as an undergraduate in 1961. With his contemporary Prof. Christopher Hogwood (Pembroke 1960, now an Honorary Fellow and Honorary Professor of Music at Cambridge), he formed the Early Music Consort of London in 1967. His deep insight into the music of mediaeval and renaissance composers, and his virtuosity on many wind instruments, popularised the cause of early music worldwide.

Nakers not Knackers!

I doubt whether DM would have been offended in any way if he saw this post onsite. It comes from another discussion group on google, and was apparently written by a noted journalist who had met him.

The English-Irish expression "hit in
the (k)nackers" (struck in the testicles) is thought to originate from the
tiny tunable medieval kettledrums called Nakers strung on waist belt
and lying roughly in the testicle region.  Struck one handed with a
stick and if you missed.....

During the upsurge of interest in medieval music in the UK in the 60s I
was often out banging my Nakers.

In fact the situation got so serious
that after complaints from outraged listeners, the BBC Pronunciation
Department issued an edict to all announcers (Red Capitals said:

"Some pronunciation of the word Naker (a medieval percussion
instrument) has caused offence.  Please note that the word should be
pronounced NAY-ker or NAY-kers with a…

The BBC Announcement.

For me David Munrow was a childhood "hero".  I never forgot the day he died. I was in my parent's car. I was in the back seat sandwiched in by my grandparents. We were returning from a cream tea at Cliveden House. As usual my father turned on the radio to hear the news. As I saw Windsor Castle coming into view (I lived in Windsor) I heard about the passing of DM who apparently "...died in the early hours of the morning..." at the age of 33...what a sad waste, and yet, he achieved so much with his life.......

The Times on their front page right at the top stated simply Goodbye to Pied Piper. It gave page reference to an article by Bernard Levin on DM.

However, his work as  a popularizer in one sense goes on with the reissues of his recordings. They are still in demand! It is also wonderful to see that his two record set Instruments of the Middle Ages, and Renaissance is on occasion seen at a second hand record/cd/tape shop in Nottinghill Gate. Hopefully, it will …

Music of the Crusades

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 wi…

Music of the Americas

The following maybe of interest. But was a recording of the following programme ever made?

Files of music, identified by musician name, relating to three concerts ('Music of the Americas') by the Early Music Consort of London, in Washington, and at Fairfield Hall (Croydon), and the Wigmore Hall (London), during the first quarter of 1976. The programme comprised: Part I, 'Spanish music from the time of Christopher Columbus'; Part II, 'Music of the North and South American Indians'; and Part III, 'American music from the time of George Washington'.

Back of an Old Record


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…