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Rafael de Acha
Rafael’s Music Notes, November 2019

Listening to the Baltimore Consort’s Sono Luminus CD The Food of Love made this acquaintance with a treasure trove of Elizabethan music sheer joy. Performed by Mary Anne Ballard, Mark Cudek, Larry Lipkis, Ronn McFarlane and Mindy Rosenfeld, on treble and bass viols, citterns, recorders, crumhorns, fifes, and bagpipes, with the silvery-voiced soprano Danielle Svonavec brilliantly bringing to life the music of several contemporaries of Shakespeare the album reminded us of what good music accompanied the works of the Bard. © 2019 Rafael's Music Notes



Textura, October 2019

The Baltimore Consort couldn’t have chosen a better title for a recording dedicated to the music of Shakespeare, its words an abbreviation of the familiar line uttered by Duke Orsino in Twelfth Night: “If music be the food of love, play on…” And play on the group definitely does, with twenty-eight pieces presented on the release.

As enjoyable as the songs are, the album’s foremost pleasures derive from the interactions between the players and the rich timbral contrasts between their instruments. Often the full ensemble performs, but arrangements vary, with instruments combined in different combinations and number (e.g., “Cuckolds All a-Row” played by cittern alone; voice accompanied by lute for “Willow Song”); the album also benefits from the inclusion of both vocal and instrumental tracks, with a satisfying balance achieved between them. © 2019 Textura Read complete review



Gary Higginson
MusicWeb International, October 2019

…A very pleasurable late-evening hour can be spent in the company of these musicians and with Shakespeare, and afterwards, as Samuel Pepys wisely said, “so to bed”. © 2019 MusicWeb International Read complete review



Lisa Flynn
WFMT (Chicago), September 2019

Known for their lively renditions of Renaissance tunes, the Baltimore Consort presents a new album featuring their core repertory—music of the Elizabethan era, with songs and music from the Shakespeare plays. Soprano Danielle Svonavec performs some of the greatest hits from the Bard’s songbook and the Consort instrumentalists play sparkling arrangements of dances and consort music related to the plays on lute, cittern, viols, and flute. © 2019 WFMT (Chicago)



Ralph Graves
WTJU, August 2019

I’ve been a fan of the Baltimore Consort since their first release in 1990. They consistently deliver excellent performances that balance historical accuracy with honest emotion.

Soprano Danielle Svonavec also modifies her singing to fit the music’s context. Her pure, silvery tones sometimes acquire a little grit.

If you’re a fan of the Baltimore Consort (or any of its members), you’ll want to add this to your collection. If you’re not familiar with this remarkable group—or early music in general—The Food of Love provides an excellent introduction. Dig in. © 2019 WTJU Read complete review



Rafael de Acha
Rafael’s Music Notes, August 2019

The consolation comes for me by listening to The Food of Love, a treasure trove of Elizabethan music performed by six superb specialists on an array of exotic instruments that include treble and bass viols, cittern, recorders, crumhorn, fifes, and bagpipes, in addition to the more familiar lute and flute.

The players are Mary Anne Ballard, Mark Cudek, Larry Lipkis, Ronn McFarlane. Mindy Rosenfeld, and soprano Danielle Svonavec. All six of these artists brilliantly bring to life the music of several contemporaries of Shakespeare, notably Thomas Morley, Richard Edwards, Robert Jones, Robert Johnson, attached to Shakespeare’s The King’s Men as composer in residence, Anthony Holborne, and John Dowland.

The engineering by Daniel Shores and the producing by Dan Merceruio help place the Sono Luminus release of the Baltimore Consort’s CD The Food of Love at the very top of my list of 2019 favorites. © 2019 Rafael's Music Notes Read complete review





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