Walt Mundkowsky was born 1944 in San Antonio, TX. As a teenager, he had a dachshund named after Hugo Wolf. Extensive writings on film (cf. his “Cinema Obscura” column in Home Theater, 1995-2001). He favors the mine-shaft approach to music listening — in-depth exploration of tiny, unrelated areas. A resident of Beverly Hills, he has lived in basements in Denver, London and Stockholm, and may very well do so again.
Programs where viols accompany singing may allow a few instrumentals to break up the prevailing routine. This superb 2010 disc does the opposite, with Julianne Baird on only eight of the 22 tracks and none of them overexposed.
Reissues in Japan often exhibit a short life. This influential album hit CD 15 years ago, but only on the Japanese market, and will now appear there (briefly!) in SHM-CD attire.
Get this disc by Josie and the Emeralds, an enterprising soprano and quartet of viols in Australia, for the two-thirds that’s new to us.
Savall’s disc last appeared a decade ago in a five-CD Astrée brick called pieces for the viols.
My entry into this rewarding series came via a scenario I always enjoy – a highly evolved structure is interrogated, at first through hesitations and “mistakes,” and eventually falls apart.
Stephen Whittington’s title must refer to Satie’s musique d’ameublement and Eno’s Music for Airports, but he turns them inside out – an exploration of inner states.
“Already in bed, lying on my back and wearing headphones” is my standard listening mode, hence my interest.
I’m happy to welcome this Biber program (inessential but lots of fun) back into circulation.