This delightful CD with music for 16 contredances from collections, used at noble mansions in the Netherlands, is accompanied by a practical dance book (available in Dutch, English and German versions!) written by Dorothée Wortelboer.
The collection of English country dances and French contradance reflects the style of ballroom dancing familiar to the elite class of Europeans and American colonists in the 1760s.
The dance book features all 16 dances in facsimile, alongside neat, easy-to-read reconstructions and arrangements of the music for keyboard or ensembles for two or three instruments. Specific steps are given for each figure and there is a detailed glossary of steps and dance technique. Also included are chapters on background, sources, how the contredances work, bodily pose and style, figures and signs used in the original texts and an elaborate dictionary of dance steps. The book is beautifully illustrated with pictures from the original sources.
The CD was recorded by an ensemble of 13 well-known baroque musicians, all playing period instruments,
including single-action harp, natural horns and double bass. The music ranges from simple tunes for easy
listening to bizarre, sometimes almost rough, sometimes elegant and quite compelling melodies. They have been
recorded in arrangements which were common at the time: from small ensembles for the intimate balls held at home,
to a small orchestra for big, festive occasions. The contredances require a number of repeats – and they have been
recorded as such. But instead of getting boring, the music is varied and swinging, and will just make you
wish for more! The CD booklet includes interesting and informative chapters on the dances,
historical background and the original Shudi harpsichord used for the recording.
La Baroque: Dances from the Dutch Court c. 1765
Book & 1 CD