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Best of The Baltimore Consort

Two musical traditions - one as old as the other is new - characterize this ensemble. The old one is the broken consort, a name given to the ensemble of instruments that entertained the Queen of England at the end of the 16th century. . . . What's new is the fire and punch of a jazz band or rock group. In fact, two of the Baltimore Consort members have played in rock bands, and the group, writes Mary Anne Ballard, "now capitalizes on the similarities in compositional process between modern pop music and Renaissance 'broken consort' music." The essentials are one or two melody instruments, something to play a bass line, and instruments that add harmony and enhance the texture and rhythm. "It's a basic ensemble you find in many different kinds of popular music," says Ballard, "beginning with the Elizabethan period. You would have found our kind of ensemble in the pit, so to speak, at a Shakespeare performance. Others who have the same outline are a bluegrass band and a Mexican mariachi band. There's something universal about it." Ballard, who plays viols and rebec in the Consort, is a musicologist and guiding force who has been with the group since its beginnings. - Byron A. Nilsson


January 2003


  1. Joyne Hands
  2. Howells Delight
  3. In a garden so green
  4. Christmas Day in da Mornin' (Shetland Islands)
  5. My heartly service
  6. Scotch Cap
  7. Cold and Raw
  8. Robin is to the Greenwood Gone
  9. Come, let us drink, Z. 245
  10. The Mermaid's Song
  11. The Old Maid of the Mill Dust
  12. Jenny, My Blithest Maid
  13. A Trip to Killburn
  14. The Joviall Broome Man
  15. Branle double
  16. Branle de Montirande
  17. Branle de la torche
  18. J'ai vu le loup
  19. Mignonne, allons voir si la rose
  20. The Fidler's Contemt
  21. The Kerry Star
  22. The Goroum
  23. Truagh (An Triucha)
  24. Well Hall
  25. The Wren Song (Ireland)
  26. Adew Dundee
  27. Crossing to Ireland