Latitude 37 CD Review (Fine Music Magazine, Dec 2011)

LATITUDE37

Music of 17th century Italy and Spain

Julia Fredersdorff, baroque violin; Laura Vaughan, viola da gamba & !irone; Donald Nicolson, harpsichord & organ

Works by Ortiz; Piccinini; Salaverde; Fontana; Marini; Merulo; Caccini; Caroso; Frescobaldi; Palestrina; Castello; Kapsberger

ABC 476 4525

****

If the first track on a CD sets the mood for what follows, then composer Diego Ortiz gives ensemble Latitude37 a means to demonstrate that their take on baroque and early music is not latter-day bright and bubbly. The mood of his Passamezzo antico instead sounds dour and thoughtful. It may actually be neither of those things, but it does suggest a composer focussed on inner preoccupations more than one who enjoys dancing. Overall, the effect of this CD is that it contains a single long work rather than 15 short ones, and you may even play at guessing what the next track will sound like as each one finishes. Despite the attention given to early music today, this trio of early instrumentalists has found itself a set of its own from material left by mostly lesser known composers, with little if any duplication across the work being done by other groups. There is enough for all three members to have the opportunity to make a difference to what you hear, and when the sound is not enough they bring in various guest artists to fill it out. That explains the soprano, who appears a couple of times in the middle. Latitude37 take their name from the world of geography rather than the scope of their musical interest, and with this CD they clear a space in the early music marketplace with a performance of delicate sensitivity. Plenty of reasons to respect what they have come up with here.

- Phil Vendy