Wednesday, 30 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 Consort, with a view to making a record. The music was the Susato dances, and I was bowled over by the energy and stylishness of the performances. We signed him up, and he was to make twenty LPs for us between 1971 and 1976—some of which have still to be issued.

He made his name in the concert hall, where his charming personality made a great impression on audiences, but he was also very much a man of the gramophone. Some artists regard records only as a means of perpetuating their performances, but David had a uniquely creative view of records which made him very stimulating to work with. He concerned himself with all aspects of recording, and followed through his records from their conception to their finished state. He chose the cover pictures, wrote the sleeve-notes, and of course he chose the music and arranged it. I remember that when he discussed with us "The Art of Courtly Love" [HMV SL5863, 12/73] he described every detail of the finished box, and even 'sold' it to us by suggesting that we could eventually issue the three records separately.


To have such a perfectionist on the tail of each department, checking and worrying away at every detail could have been rather frightening, but his charm and humour made everyone want to do their best for him—not to mention the fact that in such specialised music we were glad to have him to, keep an eye on our work.


He was a man of manic energy—not least in the recording studio. He would stay up most of the night preparing parts, and then be at the session an hour before it started, putting out the music and even the music stands. We had to restrain him from putting out the microphones as well. He would never spare himself during a session, and usually ended up popeyed with exhaustion.
It is hard to foresee how his career would have developed, but he had already shown his ability to conduct larger groups, and I feel that he might well have sailed into the sharkinfested sea of orchestral conducting. No one who listened regularly to his BBC Radio 3 "Pied Piper" programme could imagine that early music was his sole interest.

I know of no musician more widely talented than David Munrow, nor anyone whose absence from the musical scene could be more bitterly felt by his audiences, and by his friends.


  CHRISTOPHER Bishop.

Royal Albert Hall Prom Listing II





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



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Displaying 41 - 59 of 59
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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


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Monday 11 August 1975, 7:30PM



Josquin des Prez Spagna


Early Music Consort of London
David Munrow conductor


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Monday 11 August 1975, 7:30PM



Antoine Brumel Missa 'Et ecce terrae motus'

- No. 2 Gloria

Early Music Consort of London
David Munrow conductor






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Monday 11 August 1975, 7:30PM



Jean de Ockeghem Motet 'Intemerata Dei mater'


Early Music Consort of London
David Munrow conductor



Proms premiere


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Monday 11 August 1975, 7:30PM



Johannes Tinctoris Missa 'sine nomine' (low clefs)

- Kyrie

Early Music Consort of London
David Munrow conductor



Proms premiere


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Monday 11 August 1975, 7:30PM



Jacob Obrecht Motet 'Haec Deum caeli'


Early Music Consort of London
David Munrow conductor



Proms premiere


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Friday 20 August 1976, 7:30PM



Tielman Susato Danserye

- excerpts

Early Music Consort of London
David Munrow conductor


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Friday 20 August 1976, 7:30PM



Josquin des Prez Scaramella va alla guerra [Scaramella is off to war]


Early Music Consort of London
David Munrow conductor


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Friday 20 August 1976, 7:30PM



Josquin des Prez Allegez moy [Soothe me]


Early Music Consort of London
David Munrow conductor


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Friday 20 August 1976, 7:30PM



Josquin des Prez Mille regretz [A thousand sorrows]


Early Music Consort of London
David Munrow conductor


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Friday 20 August 1976, 7:30PM



Josquin des Prez El grillo è buon cantore [The cricket is a good singer]


Early Music Consort of London
David Munrow conductor


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Friday 20 August 1976, 7:30PM



Josquin des Prez Motet 'Benedicta es, caelorum regina' [Blessed art thou, queen of heaven]


Early Music Consort of London
David Munrow conductor


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Friday 20 August 1976, 7:30PM



Jean Mouton Motet 'Nesciens mater Virgo' [Born to the Virgin]


Early Music Consort of London
David Munrow conductor


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Friday 20 August 1976, 7:30PM



Josquin des Prez Motet 'Qui habitat in adiutorio altissimi' [He who dwells in the shelter of the most high]


Early Music Consort of London
David Munrow conductor


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Friday 20 August 1976, 7:30PM



Antoine Brumel Missa 'Et ecce terrae motus'

- No. 1 Kyrie / No. 2 Gloria / No. 3 Credo / No. 4 Sanctus / No. 5 Benedictus

Early Music Consort of London
David Munrow conductor


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Friday 20 August 1976, 7:30PM



Antoine Brumel Missa 'Et ecce terrae motus'

- No. 6 Agnus Dei (incomplete)

David Munrow reconstructor


Early Music Consort of London
David Munrow conductor


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Friday 20 August 1976, 7:30PM



Antoine Brumel Missa 'Et ecce terrae motus'

- No. 6 Agnus Dei (incomplete)

David Munrow reconstructor


Early Music Consort of London
David Munrow conductor


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Monday 6 September 1976, 7:30PM



Anonymous Play of Daniel


David Munrow arranger
James Bowman counter-tenor
David James counter-tenor
Charles Brett counter-tenor
Martyn Hill tenor
Geoffrey Shaw baritone
Rogers Covey-Crump tenor
Nigel Beavan baritone
Christopher Chivers tenor
John Nixon tenor


Early Music Consort of London
David Munrow conductor


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Monday 6 September 1976, 7:30PM



Anonymous Play of Daniel


David Munrow arranger
James Bowman counter-tenor
David James counter-tenor
Charles Brett counter-tenor
Martyn Hill tenor
Geoffrey Shaw baritone
Rogers Covey-Crump tenor
Nigel Beavan baritone
Christopher Chivers tenor
John Nixon tenor


Early Music Consort of London
David Munrow conductor


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Displaying 41 - 59 of 59
First | Previous

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



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Displaying 1 - 40 of 59
Next | Last
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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


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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


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Thursday 30 July 1970, 7:30PM



Anonymous Lamento di Tristano


David Munrow director


Early Music Consort of London



Proms premiere


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Thursday 30 July 1970, 7:30PM



Anonymous Trotto


David Munrow medieval wind instruments/director


Early Music Consort of London



Proms premiere


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Thursday 30 July 1970, 7:30PM



Anonymous Istampitta Ghaetta


David Munrow medieval wind instruments/director


Early Music Consort of London



Proms premiere


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Thursday 30 July 1970, 7:30PM



Francesco Landini Giunta vaga biltà [Beauty and gentleness joined]


David Munrow director
James Bowman counter-tenor


Early Music Consort of London



Proms premiere


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Thursday 30 July 1970, 7:30PM



Francesco Landini Ecco la primavera [Spring is here]


David Munrow medieval wind instruments/director


Early Music Consort of London



Proms premiere


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Thursday 13 August 1970, 7:00PM



Johann Sebastian Bach Brandenburg Concerto No. 4 in G major, BWV 1049


David Munrow recorder
Simon Preston harpsichord
Alan Loveday violin
John II Turner recorder


Academy of St Martin in the Fields
Neville Marriner conductor


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Friday 20 August 1971, 7:30PM



Pedro de Escobar Virgen bendita sin par [Blessed Virgin without equal]


James Bowman counter-tenor
Martyn Hill tenor


Early Music Consort of London
David Munrow conductor



Proms premiere


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Friday 20 August 1971, 7:30PM



Anonymous Dios te salve, cruz preciosa [May God protect thee, precious Cross]


Martyn Hill tenor


Early Music Consort of London
David Munrow conductor



Proms premiere


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Friday 20 August 1971, 7:30PM



Anonymous Guarda, dona, el mio tormento [See, lady, my torment]


James Bowman counter-tenor


Early Music Consort of London
David Munrow conductor



Proms premiere


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Friday 20 August 1971, 7:30PM



Alonso Dalua Ut queant laxis [So that thy servants]


James Bowman counter-tenor
Martyn Hill tenor


Early Music Consort of London
David Munrow conductor



Proms premiere


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Friday 20 August 1971, 7:30PM



Giacomo Fogliano L'amor dona ch'io te porto [I would fain discover the gifts of love]


James Bowman counter-tenor


Early Music Consort of London
David Munrow conductor



Proms premiere


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Friday 20 August 1971, 7:30PM



Anonymous Jancu, Janto


James Bowman counter-tenor
Martyn Hill tenor


Early Music Consort of London
David Munrow conductor



Proms premiere


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Friday 20 August 1971, 7:30PM



Diego Ortiz Trattado de glosas [Treatise on Ornamentation]

- recercada I (unspecified) / recercada II (unspecified)

Early Music Consort of London
David Munrow conductor



Proms premiere


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Friday 20 August 1971, 7:30PM



Michael Praetorius Dances from 'Terpsichore'

- No. 286 Passamezze a 6 / No. 32 La Bourée a 4 / No. 27 Spagnoletta a 4 / No. 30 Pavane de Spaigne a 4 / No. 150 Courante M. M. Wüstrow a 4 / No. 278 Ballet des Baccanales a 4 / No. 280 Ballet des Matelotz a 4 / No. 254 Ballets des coqs a 5 / No. 310 Galliard a 4: Reprinse secundam inferiorem / No. 33 La Sarabande a 5 / Suite de 4 Voltes (unspecified)

Early Music Consort of London
David Munrow conductor



Proms premiere


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Thursday 7 September 1972, 7:30PM



Hermann Finck Sauff aus und machs mit lang


David Munrow medieval wind instruments/director


Early Music Consort of London



Proms premiere


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Thursday 7 September 1972, 7:30PM



Heinrich Isaac Innsbruck ich muss dich lassen [Innsbruck, I must leave thee]


James Bowman counter-tenor
Martyn Hill tenor
Geoffrey Shaw baritone


Early Music Consort of London
David Munrow conductor



Proms premiere


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Thursday 7 September 1972, 7:30PM



Jacobus Barbireau Pfobenswancz


Early Music Consort of London
David Munrow conductor



Proms premiere


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Thursday 7 September 1972, 7:30PM



Anonymous Mit hohme fleiss


David Munrow medieval wind instruments/director


Early Music Consort of London



Proms premiere


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Thursday 7 September 1972, 7:30PM



Ludwig Senfl Was wird es doch [What else can happen?]


David Munrow medieval wind instruments/director
James Bowman counter-tenor


Early Music Consort of London



Proms premiere


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Thursday 7 September 1972, 7:30PM



Ludwig Senfl Ich weiss nit, was er ihr verhiess [I don't know what he promised her]


Martyn Hill tenor


Early Music Consort of London
David Munrow conductor



Proms premiere


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Thursday 7 September 1972, 7:30PM



Anonymous Verlangen tut mich kränken [Yearning makes me suffer]


David Munrow medieval wind instruments/director
James Bowman counter-tenor
Martyn Hill tenor
Geoffrey Shaw baritone


Early Music Consort of London



Proms premiere


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Thursday 7 September 1972, 7:30PM



Tielman Susato Schafertanz 'Woher kommt's'


Early Music Consort of London
David Munrow conductor



Proms premiere


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Thursday 7 September 1972, 7:30PM



Ludwig Senfl Glaut zu Speyer [Start to pull, dear fellows]


James Bowman counter-tenor
Martyn Hill tenor
Geoffrey Shaw baritone


Early Music Consort of London
David Munrow conductor



Proms premiere


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Thursday 7 September 1972, 7:30PM



Anonymous Ein gut seligs Jahr [A happy and blessed year]


James Bowman counter-tenor


Early Music Consort of London
David Munrow conductor



Proms premiere


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Thursday 7 September 1972, 7:30PM



Ludwig Senfl Ich weiss nit, was er ihr verhiess [I don't know what he promised her]


Martyn Hill tenor
Geoffrey Shaw baritone


Early Music Consort of London
David Munrow conductor


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Thursday 7 September 1972, 7:30PM



Ludwig Senfl Was wird es doch [What else can happen?]


James Bowman counter-tenor
Martyn Hill tenor
Geoffrey Shaw baritone


Early Music Consort of London
David Munrow conductor


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Thursday 7 September 1972, 7:30PM



Tielman Susato Nachtanz


Early Music Consort of London
David Munrow conductor



Proms premiere


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Thursday 29 August 1974, 7:30PM



Guillaume Dufay Ce moys de may [This month of May]


James Bowman counter-tenor
Charles Brett counter-tenor
Martyn Hill tenor
Geoffrey Shaw baritone
Rogers Covey-Crump tenor


Early Music Consort of London
David Munrow conductor



Proms premiere


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Thursday 29 August 1974, 7:30PM



Anonymous Nobilis humilis [Hymn to St Magnus]


David Munrow arranger
Mary Thomas soprano


Early Music Consort of London
David Munrow conductor



Proms premiere


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Thursday 29 August 1974, 7:30PM



Anonymous Nobilis humilis [Hymn to St Magnus]


David Munrow arranger
Mary Thomas soprano


Early Music Consort of London
David Munrow conductor



Proms premiere


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Thursday 29 August 1974, 7:30PM



Guillaume Dufay Donnés l'assault a la fortresse [Storm the defences]


James Bowman counter-tenor
Charles Brett counter-tenor


Early Music Consort of London
David Munrow conductor


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Thursday 29 August 1974, 7:30PM



Guillaume Dufay Se la face ay pale [If my face looks pale]


Early Music Consort of London
David Munrow conductor


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Monday 11 August 1975, 7:30PM



Josquin des Prez Motet 'Inviolata, integra et casta es'


Early Music Consort of London
David Munrow conductor



Proms premiere


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Monday 11 August 1975, 7:30PM



Heinrich Isaac Canzona 'A la battaglia'


Early Music Consort of London
David Munrow conductor



Proms premiere


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Monday 11 August 1975, 7:30PM



Heinrich Isaac Missa 'La bassadanza' [Missa 'La Spagna']

- Agnus Dei

Early Music Consort of London
David Munrow conductor



Proms premiere


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Monday 11 August 1975, 7:30PM



Jean Mouton Motet 'Nesciens mater Virgo' [Born to the Virgin]


Early Music Consort of London
David Munrow conductor



Proms premiere


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Monday 11 August 1975, 7:30PM



Hayne van Ghiseghem De tous biens plaine [Full of good things] (four-part version)


Early Music Consort of London
David Munrow conductor



Proms premiere


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Monday 11 August 1975, 7:30PM



Josquin des Prez Fanfare 'Vive le roy'


Early Music Consort of London
David Munrow conductor



Proms premiere


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Displaying 1 - 40 of 59


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...................






(Ref liberensemble.com)



Section I

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

Our Reviewer at Work                                              (ref ralphmag.org)


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 in asserting that socialism was incompatible with police state practices. Schachtman became an influential figure in democratic socialist circles in the USA. He was also famous for demolishing CP spokesmen in debates, an exercise that became easier, through the 30s and 40s, as the Communist line became more and more palpably absurd, as well as self-contradictory.
Schachtman's associates and disciples included such writers as Dwight MacDonald, Irving Howe, James T. Farrell, Harvey Swados, and Michael Harrington. They also included a young New York activist, who was a self-taught musician, named Noah Greenberg.


Noah proselytized for Schachtman's socialist organization while working as a machinist and, during the war, as a merchant seaman. He continued to work in the merchant marine after the war, reaching the exalted rank of third refrigerator engineer on a banana boat, and took part in National Maritime Union politics.

But all the while, his private passion was music. When not shipping out, he did odd musical jobs as a copyist, as an occasional piano teacher, and, most importantly, as a choral conductor. At various times Noah conducted choral groups of Locals 22, 91, and 135 of the ILGWU, thus combining unionism with music. He also conducted amateur groups, and, in the late 40s-early 50s he developed an intense interest in early music. Somehow, out of this melange of semi-professional work, Noah organized a little group to sing and play Renaissance music. After casting around a bit for a name, they hit on one with a nice ring to it: "The New York Pro Musica".
The NYPM was blessed with terrific musicians and in Noah it had a combination conductor, musicologist, manager, and promoter of great musicianship and superhuman energy. Their local concerts (originally at the 92nd St. YMHA) went from strength to strength; their production of the medieval Play of Daniel at the Cloisters became a New York institution; and within a few years their concert tours and recordings catalyzed a phenomenal revival of early music. By the mid-sixties there seemed to be, as one of the NYPM members put it, little Pro Musicas on every campus in the US. The group toured in Europe as well, where their influence added to an early music revival that was already under way.

James Gollin tells this exhilarating story well enough, although the book could have used better editing. It is good at recreating the excitement of the NYPM's early days, and at explaining the sheer effort that went into making it a success. The group's musical quality was necessary but not sufficient for that success, which depended critically on Noah's formidable abilities to organize, promote, network, schmooz, and raise money. In the end, he paid for his frantic schedule with a fatal heart attack at age forty-six. Nothing costs nothing.

The conjunction of Left politics, the shop floor, banana boats, and the Early Music revival tickles one's sensibility; they have, I think, deeper connections than the author himself realizes. Schachtman's group, which by the 50s had become the Independent Socialist League, was both independent-minded and intellectually rigorous, rather in the spirit of Karl Marx himself in the previous century. When class analysis made plain that a new exploiting class was expropriating the fruits of labour in the USSR, well ... this had to be faced. Unlike the morass of propaganda and sentimentalism in which the conventional, pro-Stalinist Left wallowed, the Schachtmanites believed in telling it like it is. Likewise, authenticity was Greenberg's lodestone in performing old music: he aimed to play it like it was.

By the way, a Marxist analysis of the Soviet Union is still invaluable for explaining what happened there, and in the societies which have replaced it. As for the Greenbergism --- well, this year just try to count the number of concerts that were performed, CDs that were released, or amateur groups that met to play music from Medieval to Renaissance to early Baroque. And while you are at it, pass me down my krummhorn.

Our Reviewer at Play 
I have loved the sound of those Renaissance wind instruments (or "buzzies" in early music jargon) since I first heard them in NYPM recordings. A few years ago, I finally took up one of them myself --- actually a rauschpfeife, which is a straight krummhorn. To hear me play it is to know why the instrument went extinct.

The story carries a bittersweet implication about what Left politics in the US came to in the end. Maybe Mike Harrington's book The Other America had a small effect on the domestic programs espoused by the Democratic Party in the early 60s. Otherwise, the Schachtmanites all together had about as much influence on the politics of this planet as they did on the orbit of Ganymede. I remember who Max Schachtman was, and now you do, but that is about it.

In the introduction to "Pied Piper," Gollin quotes Jesse Simon, a veteran of the old days as follows:

I knew dozens of the people who were around in those days --- politicals, labor people, intellectuals. We were all going to make the world a better place. But the only one who really left the world a better place than he found it was Noah, with his music.

--- Dr. Phage



Noah Greenberg was that rarest of human beings, an artiste without self-regard. However he may crave immediate success, a composer or a playwright knows that, if his work is any good, it is irreplaceable and will continue to be played after he is dead. A conductor or a singer or an actor, on the other hand, knows that, however good he may be, he is necessarily replaceable simply because he is mortal; if he does not succeed in his lifetime, he has failed. The temptation for an artiste, therefore, to draw attention to himself by mannerisms and “personal interpretations,” to conform to popular taste rather than risk a flop, is so great that only the strongest character can resist it. Noah Greenberg did.
Moreover, in no field are the pressures so great as in the field of music. However psychologists may explain it, the musical taste of the average man is more conservative than his taste in any of the other arts. Whereas most people like to see a play they have never seen before, few feel well-disposed towards a piece, still fewer towards a style, of music they have never heard before. Hence the extraordinary narrowness of the standard concert repertory. To devote one’s musical career, as Noah Greenberg did, to works outside this repertory, calls for faith and courage of the highest order.
When he first formed the Pro Musica Antiqua, I must confess I was skeptical. How on earth, I wondered, is he going to persuade anybody except a few cranks to listen to Medieval and Baroque music? Am I even going to enjoy it myself? As we all know, he did succeed, and premature as his death was, he died knowing that his company had become an indispensable element in the musical life not only in the States but also in Europe.
His total absorption in the music he loved, without a thought of his own fame or reward, showed itself also in his relations to those he worked with. In my own dealings with him, for example, I found that, when it came to a matter of contracts, I had to be careful he didn’t cheat himself.
Professionally, it was a singular privilege for me to have been permitted to collaborate with him on several occasions; personally, I shall cherish his memory as long as I live.
—W. H. Auden

Ref The New York Review of Books.

                                        

Section II


Wikipedia Entry on Noah Greenberg



From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For other people with the surname Goldberg, see Goldberg (surname).
Noah Greenberg (1919, Bronx – 8 January 1966, New York City) was an American choral conductor.[1]
In 1937, aged 18, Greenberg joined the Socialist Workers Party of Max Shachtman, and worked as a lathe operator and party activist. He lost work-related draft deferment in 1944 and joined the U.S. Merchant Marine till 1949. By this time he had lost interest in formal politics.[2]
Greenberg, although self-taught, had been conducting amateur choruses such as that of the International Ladies' Garment Workers Union, and by 1950 was known as a choral conductor. Greenberg founded New York Pro Musica in 1952, signing with Esoteric Records of Greenwich Village, and recorded the first of 28 LP albums over the next 14 years.
W. H. Auden wrote of him, in regard to his having successfully revived interest in medieval, renaissance and baroque music, "To devote one’s musical career, as Noah Greenberg did, to works outside (the standard concert) repertory, calls for faith and courage of the highest order."[3]
He died at University Hospital, Manhattan, after an apparent heart attack, on January 8, 1966.[4]


Select discography[edit]

  • New York Pro Musica: An Anthology of Their Greatest Works, Noah Greenberg, conductor. 7 record set. Everest Records (1966, Everest 3145/7)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. Jump up ^ James Gollin, Pied Piper: The Many Lives of Noah Greenberg, Pendragon Press (2001), ISBN 1-57647-041-5
  2. Jump up ^ Terry Teachout: Noah Greenberg's Revolution (October 2001)
  3. Jump up ^ [1]
  4. Jump up ^ Noah Greenberg Is Dead at 46; Founded New York Pro Musica; Group Spurred a Revival of Pre-Classic Music — Mother Dies on Hearing News, New York Times, January 10, 1966 [2]

External links[edit]



New York Pro Musica / Noah Greenberg - A discography

Conception & research: Pierre-F. Roberge
For comments, additions and corrections mccomb@medieval.org (continuing this discography for PFR)
Last update: 07/04/2007
This is an "under construction" and for now a relatively complete discography of the New York Pro Musica Ensemble

The founding of the New York Pro Musica

(This account of the founding of the New York Pro Musica was written by James Gollin. Mr. Gollin's full-length biography of Noah Greenberg was published in March 2001.)
The New York Pro Musica was founded in late 1952 and incorporated in March 1953 as the New York Pro Musica Antiqua. Its co-founders were the choral director Noah Greenberg and the recorder player Bernard Krainis. Of special interest to discophiles is the fact that neither Greenberg nor Krainis had any intention of creating a concert ensemble. Rather, Pro Musica was a combination of Greenberg's Primavera Singers and Krainis's Saint Cecilia Players. Both groups had been formed solely to make recordings.
Noah Greenberg, born in 1919, had studied composition as a teenager and had developed a keen interest in early music under the tutelage of composer-choral conductor Harold Brown. Always devoted to music, starting in 1950 Greenberg had led choruses of the members of several locals of the International Ladies' Garment Workers Union and also formed and worked with small private groups that mixed amateur and professional singers.
Bernard Krainis, five years younger than Greenberg, had come home to New York after college in Denver for graduate study with musicologist Gustave Reese at N.Y.U. He had put aside the jazz trombone to master the recorder, but also on occasion sang with Greenberg's informal vocal ensembles.
Through a musician friend, Greenberg met Jerry Newman, a recording engineer who, with a partner, owned a small record company. Esoteric Records was looking for material, and Greenberg landed a contract to record a Renaissance work, Festino, a group of madrigals for carnival entertainment by the Benedictine monk and composer Adriano Banchieri. With this commitment in hand, Greenberg asked Bernard Krainis to help him recruit good young male singers to add to a group that already included sopranos Ruth Daigon and Lois Roman and mezzo-soprano Sheila Jones. Krainis recommended bass Brayton Lewis and a young lyric tenor, Russell Oberlin.
Krainis, meanwhile, had come across a rare work by the 17th-century English composer John Blow. Blow's Ode on the Death of Mr. Henry Purcell called for two counter-tenors, two alto recorders and continuo. Krainis himself could be one of the recorder players and he knew where to find a second one. He also knew that Russell Oberlin, whom he had heard at The Church of the Ascension and in a madrigal group led by Suzanne Bloch, had the voice and range of a true counter-tenor. Tenor Arthur Squires, whom Noah Greenberg had already contacted for Festino, might sing the second part. Cellist George Koutzen and harpsichordist Herman Chessid would create the continuo.
By late March 1953, Esoteric had recorded both Festino and Ode on the Death of Mr. Henry Purcell (with Charles Bressler instead of Arthur Squires singing the second counter-tenor part) and had both scheduled for release in May. When it became apparent that the company had no marketing plan and no budget for promotion, Greenberg and Krainis decided to pool their own resources. On March 29, the pair met at Greenberg's Greenwich Village apartment and agreed to join The Primavera Singers and the St. Cecilia Players in a single entity and give a concert to garner pre-release publicity and sell records. The concert, at The New School for Social Research on April 26, also launched the New York Pro Musica Antiqua on its 21-year concertizing career.

This discography is divided into three parts.
Part I lists the original recordings (35) and re-edited material containing tracks not previously released or excerpts. I have excluded from the list recordings by a sole performer, part of the NYPM at the time of recording (ex.: Decca "Gold Label" DL 10040 / DL 7 10040). Each individual title is linked to a descriptive section containing as much information as possible about the original recording; this description is cross-linked to available CDs actually on the market (april 2001) in North America or western Europe. Great care has been taken to prevent misinformation and a large part of the data originates from the records themselves (although often they are not as reliable as they should be). If the recording was not available, the content originates from the usual sources (periodicals such as The Gramophone [and the Catalogue], Diapason [and the Catalogue], Bielefelder Katalog, Notes, and Fanfare, etc.). Also data has been re-checked using the excellent Indiana University Library database [IUCAT]. Those interested in the discography of the medieval and renaissance period, should refer to the following three publications:
  1. James Coover & Richard Colvig
    Medieval and Renaissance music on long-playing records
    Detroit studies in music bibliography, no. 6; xii, 122 p.
    Detroit, Information Service inc., 1964
  2. James Coover & Richard Colvig
    Medieval and Renaissance music on long-playing records
    Supplement, 1962-1971
    Detroit studies in music bibliography, no. 26; 258 p.
    Detroit, Information Coordinators, 1973
  3. Trevor Croucher
    Early music discography: from plainsong to the sons of Bach
    2 Vol. (v. 1: Record index -- v. 2: Composer, plainsong, anonymous work, and performer indexes)
    Oryx Press, Phoenix, AZ, c1981
I tried to list titles according to their label and release dates. In the linked section, I tried to follow the track order of the recording; in some cases when the recording was not available, the order may need correction by a careful reader owning the disc. In Part I, the number appearing before the entry refers to an original recording; if no number appears it is a compilation. My goal is to cover all original recordings, but this may well be wishful thinking without comments and corrections. These could be directed to my E-mail address (pfr@videotron.ca). Credit for any significant contribution will be given at the end of the discography.
In the early LP era, as a general rule (the most noteworthy exception being Deutsche Grammophon "Arkhiv Produktion"), dates of recording and release are not stated; most dates stated in this discography were kindly provided by James Gollin.
Part II deals mostly with reedition on CDs.
Pierre-F. Roberge

PART I

I.L.G.W.U. (Esoteric Records, Inc.)

Early 1953
(Total original recordings = 1)

  1. I.L.G.W.U. (Esoteric Records, Inc.) [LP, 25cm, mono]
    We work - We Sing (Commemorative Recording - 1953 Convention of the International Ladies' Garment Workers Union)
    Rec. & rel.: 1953
  2. Esoteric Records, Inc.

    [Later known as Counterpoint, Counterpoint / Esoteric (Everest Records Production), Everest Records]

    May 1953 - January 1955
    (Total original recordings = 7)

  3. Esoteric ES 515 [LP, mono]
    Handel - Music for ancient instruments and soprano voice
    Rec. & rel.: 1953
  4. Esoteric ES 516 [LP, mono]
    Banchieri: Festino - A Renaissance Madrigal Entertainment to be sung "... on the evening of Fat Thursday before Supper.."
    Rec. & rel.: 1953
  5. Esoteric ES 519 [LP, mono]
    Henry Purcell, John Blow - Instrumental & Vocal Selections
    Rec. & rel.: 1953
  6. Esoteric ES 520 [LP, mono]
    Thomas Morley - Elizabethan Madrigals , Canzonets and Ballets
    Rec. & rel.: 1953
  7. Esoteric ES 521 [LP, mono]
    English Medieval Christmas Carols
    Rec. & rel.: 1953
  8. Esoteric ESJ-6 [LP, mono, 25cm]
    An Elizabethan songbag for young people
    Rec.: 1953 & rel.: 1954
  9. Esoteric ES 535 [LP, mono]
    Henry Purcell - Songs
    Rec.: 1954 & rel.: 1955
  10. Counterpoint / Esoteric CPT 540 [LP, mono]
    Children's Songs of Shakespeare's time
    Rel.: 1957
    Counterpoint / Esoteric CPT 1502 [LP, mono]
    A Baroque Concert
    Rel.: ca 1957
    Everest 6145 / SDBR 3145 [LPx7, mono / elect. stereo]
    Noah Greenberg conducting the New York Pro Musica - An Anthology of Their Greatest Works
    Rel.: 1966

    Period

    [Also known as Contrepoint (France) and later Dover]

    1953
    (Total original recording = 1)

  11. Period PL 597 [LP, mono]
    Anthology of Renaissance Music
    Rec.: 1953 & rel.: 1954
  12. Columbia recordings

    [Also later, Odyssey label]

    1954
    (Total original recordings = 3)

  13. Columbia ML 5051 [LP, mono]
    Evening of Elizabethan Verses & Its Music
    Rec.: 1954; rel.: 1955
  14. Columbia ML 5159 [LP, mono]
    Vocal Music of Claudio Monteverdi
    Rec.: 1954; rel.: 1957 or prior
  15. Columbia ML 5204 [LP, mono]
    The Music of Salamone Rossi, Hebreo of Mantua
    Rec.: 1954; rel.: 1957
  16. Decca (US) Recordings

    1957-1968 (Total original recordings = 23)

  17. Decca "Gold Label" DL 9400 [LP, mono]
    Music of Medieval Court and Countryside
    Rec.: 1957; rel.: 1957
  18. Decca "Gold Label" DL 9402 / DL 7 9402 [LP, mono / stereo]
    The Play of Daniel
    Rec.: 1958; rel.: 1958
  19. Decca "Gold Label" DL 9404 / DL 7 9404 [LP, mono/stereo]
    Sacred Music of Thomas Tallis
    Rec.: 1958; rel.: 1959
  20. Decca "Gold Label" DL 9406 / DL 7 9406 [LP, mono/stereo]
    Elizabethan and Jacobean Ayres, Madrigals & Dances
    Rec.: 1959; rel.: 1959
  21. Decca "Gold Label" DL 9409 / DL 7 9409 [LP, mono/stereo]
    Spanish Music of the Renaissance
    Rec.: 1959 or 1960; rel.: 1960
  22. Decca "Gold Label" DL 9410 / DL 7 9410 [LP, mono/stereo]
    Josquin Des Préz: Missa Pange Lingua, motets and instrumental pieces
    Rec.: 1960; rel.: 1961
  23. Decca "Gold Label" DL 9412 / DL 7 9412 [LP, mono/stereo]
    Music of the Early German Baroque - Heinrich Schütz & Melchior Franck
    Rec.: 1960; rel.: 1961
  24. Decca "Gold Label" DL 9413 / DL 7 9413 [LP, mono/stereo]
    Heinrich Isaaac: Music for the Court of Lorenzo the Magnificent - Jacob Obrecht: Missa Fortuna desperata
    Rec.: 1961; rel.: 1961
  25. Decca "Gold Label" DL 9415 / DL 7 9415 [LP, mono/stereo]
    Instrumental music from the Courts of Queen Elizabeth and King James
    Rec.: 1961; rel.: 1962
  26. Decca "Gold Label" DL 9416 / DL 7 9416 [LP, mono/stereo]
    Spanish medieval music
    Rec.: 1962; rel.: 1962
  27. Decca "Gold Label" DL 9418 / DL 7 9418 [LP, mono/stereo]
    Medieval English Carols and Italian Dances
    Rec.: 1962; rel.: 1962
  28. Decca "Gold Label" DL 9419 / DL 7 9419 [LP, mono/stereo]
    Renaissance Festival Music - Flemish Dances and Venetian Music
    Rec.: 1962; rel.: 1963
  29. Decca "Gold Label" DL 9420 / DL 7 9420 [LP, mono/stereo]
    Ludwig Senfl - Composer to the Court and Chapel of Emperor Maximilian I
    Rec.: 1963; rel.: 1964
  30. Decca "Gold Label" DL 9421 / DL 7 9421 [LP, mono/stereo]
    It was a lover and his lass - Music of Shakespeare's time
    Rec.: 1963; rel.: 1964
  31. Decca DXA 187 / DXSA 7 187 [LP, mono/stereo]
    The Play of Herod
    Rec.: 1964; rel.: 1964
  32. Decca "Gold Label" DL 9424 / DL 7 9424 [LP, mono/stereo]
    Renaissance Bands
    Rec.: 1965; rel.: 1965
  33. Decca "Gold Label" DL 9425 / DL 7 9425 [LP, mono / stereo]
    Early Baroque Music of Italy
    Rec.: 1965; rel.: 1966
  34. Decca "Gold Label" DL 9428 / DL 7 9428 [LP, mono/stereo]
    Florentine Music
    Rec.: 1966; rel.: 1967
  35. Decca "Gold Label" DL 7 9431 [LP, stereo]
    Ah Sweet Lady - The Romance of Medieval France
    Rec.: 1967; rel.: 1967
  36. Decca "Gold Label" DL 7 9434 [LP, stereo]
    The Kynge's Musicke
    Rec.: 1968; rel.: 1968
  37. Decca "Gold Label" DL 7 9435 [LP, stereo]
    Petrucci - First Printer of Music
    Rec.: 1968; rel.: 1969
  38. Decca "Gold Label" DL 7 9436 [LP, stereo]
    Music of the Spanish Theater in the Golden Age
    Rec.: 1969; rel.: 1969
  39. Decca "Gold Label" DL 7 9438 [LP, stereo]
    Medieval Roots
    Rel.: ??
    Decca DL 7 9174 [LP, stereo]
    Anne of the Thousand Days
    Rel.: 1970

    Horizon

    1968
    (Total recording = 1)

    Horizon DL 34 541 [LP]
    Music for a Medieval Day - Music of the cloister, cathedral, court, marketplace, and countryside
    Rec.: 1957-1968; rel.: 1968

    Musical Heritage Society

    1973
    (Total original recording = 1)

  40. Musical Heritage Society MHS 1953/4 [LP, mono / stereo]
    Marco da Gagliano - La Dafne
    Rec.: 1973 & rel.: 1974 (?)
  41. Melodya Recordings

    1964 (Total original recordings = 3)

  42. Melodya C10 23417 002 [LP]
    Pro Musica I - Ensemble of Old Music: Live recordings of outstanding Musicians - G. Dufay, A. Agricola, H. Brumel, H. Isaac, J. Despréz
    Rec.: 1964; rel.: 1986
  43. Melodya C10 23415 008 [LP]
    Pro Musica II - Ensemble of Old Music: Live recordings of outstanding Musicians - G. Gabrieli, T. Susato, L. Viadana, H.L.Hassler, M. Praetorius
    Rec.: 1964; rel.: 1986
  44. Melodya C10 23413 003 [LP]
    Pro Musica III - Ensemble of Old Music: Live recordings of outstanding Musicians - C. Monteverdi, G. Frescobaldi
    Rec.: 1964; rel.: 1986

PART II

Re-editions (CD, Video and Laserdic)

  1. MCA D2 10102 [CDx2]
    The Play of Daniel - The Play of Herod
    Rel.: 1991 (no longer available, may 2001)
  2. Millennium Classics UMD 80 565 [CD]
    Praetorius - Susato: Renaissance Dances
    Rel.: 1999
  3. National Educational Television WOM-21 [video]
    The Renaissance Band
    Rec.: 1965
  4. Rykodisc TCD1056 [CD]
    English Medieval Christmas Carols
    Rel.: 1997
  5. Universal Studios [Video, VHS]
    Anne of the Thousand Days
    Rel.: 1986
  6. VAI A 1258 [CD]
    Music of John Blow and Henry Purcell - John Blow: Ode on the death of Henry Purcell - Mr Henry Purcell: Songs & Airs
    Russell Oberlin et al.
    Rel.: 2006
  7. Audio tape - KPFK Studio [cassette]
    Conversation betwwen William Malloch and Noah Greenberg
    Rec.: ca 1964

....And thanks to all contributors....
Todd McComb <mccomb@medieval.org>
Joel Bresler
John Howell
James Gollin
David H. Green
Mitchell Mularz
Donald Rice
Jeff Vilencia
Joanna Morris
Jon Stringer
Fernando Acosta
Eriko Aoyama
Darlene Trieste
I am waiting.... for others...
Pierre-F. Roberge

To Early Music FAQ





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 interested itself in traditional music from other parts of the world). David brought along some of his collection of Peruvian instruments while I talked about my trip recording the hurdy-gurdy.I seem to recall that he was then a competent if not exceptional recorder player and he was, I think, involved in a Miracle play we put on (where I played a couple of notes on a mediaeval harp borrowed from Thurston Dart). I'm not sure whether the crumhorn he saw was on Thurston Dart's wall as I don't recall Dart having one. I did have one hanging on my wall which I remember David seizing and blowing a lot more successfully than I could."

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

Access to Archives

Part of the UK archives network




The hierarchical structure of this catalogue is shown below. See the entire contents of the catalogue

ReferenceDM
Covering dates1908-1976
Held byRoyal Academy of Music Library
Extent706 files
Conditions 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 instrumentalist
ArrangementThe collection is arranged as follows: DM/1, Correspondence; DM/2, Concerts; DM/3, Music; DM/4, Recordings; DM/5, Film; DM/6, Television; DM/7, Radio; DM/8, Publications; DM/9, Miscellaneous Material.
Related informationRobert Spencer Collection, Royal Academy of Music Library. Spencer (1932-1997), English lutenist, guitarist and singer, frequently performed with Munrow's Early Music Consort of London.


Administrative history:
David John Munrow (1942-1976), an early woodwind instrumentalist, with a particular expertise in the baroque recorder, is best remembered as an expert and pioneering exponent of early music. Through his founding of the Early Music Consort of London, which performed a range of music that had remained largely unheard for centuries, Munrow developed a broad audience for music from the medieval period through to the late baroque, played on authentic instruments. This audience was further developed through his regular and popular broadcasts on Radio 3, his many recordings, and through his scores and arrangements for a number of historical films and televsion programmes.
Munrow was born in Birmingham, 12 August, 1942. At King Edward VI School, Birmingham, he learned to play the bassoon and the recorder. Before reading English at Pembroke College, Cambridge (1961-64), Munrow travelled in South America (Voluntary Service Overseas, Peru), where his experience of indigenous music and traditional instruments - which he began to collect avidly - made a lasting impression. At Pembroke College, Munrow was elected President of the University Music Club. In addition to forming a recorder consort, and chamber ensembles, he began to give lively lecture-recitals to demonstrate the range of woodwind instruments. The lecture-recitals were given with the assistance of Christopher Hogwood, and with Gillian Reid (married to Munrow in 1966). In 1964, Munrow began an MA programme at the University of Birmingham, studying D'Urfey's Pills to Purge Melancholy. From 1964-66, Munrow was a member of the woodwind band of the Royal Shakespeare Company. It was during this period that he founded the Early Music Consort (in 1967), which made its London début in 1968. In addition to Munrow, the Consort comprised Christopher Hogwood, James Bowman, Oliver Brookes, and James Tyler, and was frequently supplemented by other musicians as the occasion required. The Consort was highly successful and performed constantly in the UK and internationally. Recordings further enhanced the Consort's reputation, and it received a Grammy Award in 1976 (for The Art of Courtly Love, Best Chamber Music Performance).
Munrow's academic career continued alongside his performance career, at Leicester University (1967-74) and at the Royal Academy of Music (1968-75). Recordings made during this period include Bach's Brandenburg Concertos (under both Sir Adrian Boult and Neville Marriner), and The Art of the Recorder (1975). Munrow's research interests led him to extend and promulgate the early music repertoire through innovative programmes that typified the Early Music Consort. Contemporary composers also wrote new compositions with the Early Music Consort and its instrumentation in mind: Peter Dickinson, Translations (1971); Elisabeth Lutyens, The Tears of the Night (1972); and Sir Peter Maxwell Davies used the Consort on-stage in performances of Taverner (1972).
Munrow's passion to communicate with a wide audience was evident in his involvement in radio, television and the cinema. Between 1971 and 1976, he presented the popular Radio 3 programme Pied Piper, broadcasting four programmes per week. In addition, Munrow's pre-eminent expertise in early music soon led to numerous commissions from television and film producers keen to enhance their productions with authentic incidental music. Such commissions included arranged and original scores for the BBC television productions The Six Wives of Henry VIII, and Elizabeth R, and film scores for The Devils (with Sir Peter Maxwell Davies), and Zardoz.
Towards the end of his short life (he died by his own hand, 15 May, 1976, at the age of 33), Munrow began to develop an interest in the liturgical music of the Renaissance, and planned a new series of concerts in this field with the Early Music Consort. His last recording (Music of the Gothic Era) reflected this new direction.
Source: Grove, with additions.


Contents:
A performance-centred archive, largely comprising files of music that relate to concerts given by the Early Music Consort of London (founded and directed by David Munrow) and to their audio recordings. In addition, the archive contains Munrow's scores and arrangements for television and film productions, as well as some radio scripts. Material relating to Munrow, Instruments of the Middle Ages and Renaissance (1976), and some correspondence, is also included.




The contents of this catalogue are the copyright of Royal Academy of Music Library
Rights in the Access to Archives database are the property of the Crown, © 2001-2013

The records described on this page are held by Royal Academy of Music Library

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.


http://www.pem.cam.ac.uk/the-college/pembroke-past-and-present/music/

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:
IMPORTANT PRONUNCIATION INSTRUCTION).


"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 considerable stress on the first
syllable.  This instruction must be followed in any use of the word On
Air."



The BBC story is true, by the way.  The late David Munrow loved to tell
it to anyone who had not already heard it.  Which wasn't that many.
Kind regards,
Alan M. Watkins



 Ken Russell the famous film director for whom Munrow did some work (the Devils film) recalled in the BBC programme entitled Mr.Munrow, His Study  on DM and the RAM collection that he jumped on the stage, and declared that he had the biggest pair of knackers in the room. The audience would laugh..and laugh even more when he explained what he really meant when displaying his nakers!

Alan Watkins also mentioned  that he once saw DM playing a crumhorn, and recorder at the same time at a Xmas party...I seem to recall this little trick in a photo of DM in the Art of the Recorder.

Also, on the Memorial programme mention was made that he would ensure that everything would be ready for his concerts, and there would be no "cock ups" as he would put it!

RS/Blogger.

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

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 continue to inspire people to take up a serious interest in early music....


By Robert Searle, the Blogger.

Some References to Hogwood, and Munrow..

These are some references from the net to certain happenings with Hogwood, and DM. The following seems to do with their experiences in Czechslovakia..


I (Hogwood) used to do some translating for Kricka, the son of the composer, a very elegant man, who ran the Supraphon records. I met Milan Munclinger and his group, Venhoda ... At Christmas. David Munrow came to see me--he was very interested to see what was happening here and they all came to talk to him because he was already quite known for medieval music playing. So we did a little show on radio, It was very mutual exchange.

ref There are many things to finish: interview with Chistopher Hogwood.

Czech Music,01-JUL-03,Brezina, Ales.


This little show on radio may be the same one which DM mentioned in a letter to someone in authority in the BBC, and which appeared in Humphrey Carpenters book entitled Envy of the World if I recall correctly.




Also, the following comes from Music in Schools Today. It is an interview with Nicholas McGegan who was into early music making, and references are made to Hogwood, and Munrow.......



Nicholas McGegan:

...... I went to Cambridge University in England to do modern music and to compose. One of the things you have to study there, which is a course that essentially hasn't changed since the 16th century, is acoustics: how instruments work and how concert halls are built. The person who taught that course was actually a climatologist, but he privately collected 18th century wind instruments. I was a flute player in those days, so he lent me an 18th-century flute, which I still have. And he had a tenant named Christopher Hogwood, who lived in the attic and who played the harpsichord. Chris was not there very much, because he was playing with David Munrow and on tour with the Early Music Consort. When I got to play the one keyed flute well enough and Chris was in town, we gave some concerts together, and I joined his Academy of Ancient Music. So I started to do early music probably around 1970-71.

There was a certain amount happening in early music in England at the time -- most obviously old keyboards and viol consorts, which has always been an English gentleman's pursuit. So I just played a bit, went to Oxford to prolong the lack of reality for a few more years, played in Christopher's orchestra, met Trevor Pinnock, and worked for John Eliot Gardiner and Roger Norrington. In those days, I managed to write a lot of music history essays on composers like Alessandro Scarlatti without ever hearing a note of their music. Nobody performed it, and certainly nobody recorded it, except those rather dismal old Archiv records that were rather like bran muffins that were too good for you. The idea that you could actually play the stuff and enjoy it, or that you could sort of have a career of it, certainly in the late sixties was more or less unthinkable...

August 2008.

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 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.