This has been one of my all-time favorite early music recordings (there are a few "contemporary" works on here as well; they are, however, in a style that sounds ancient and timeless, and blend perfectly with the rest of the program. I especially enjoy "The Alchemist" by Marcia Diehl, which expertly conjures up the spirit of ancient worlds. She is a member of the Baltimore Consort, the recorder(s) player) since I bought it in '97 when it was released. Dorian recordings were, during those years especially, endless treasures, release after release. Like all of the Baltimore Consort's albums, Ensemble Galilei too always transports me to a special, magical place otherwise unattainable in the physical world; this is music that makes me feel good no matter what is happening in my life, and I can listen to it at anytime and it's 100% fresh.
So Ensemble Galilei is an instrumental group of five women (more recently six, with the addition of other musicians depending on the program and instrumental needs) who perform traditional folk melodies, early music, reels and airs, and original compositions. Their range of instruments-which includes fiddle, viola, Scottish small pipes, percussion, Celtic harp, tin whistle, recorder and other winds-weave a sound that is by turns sprightly and sweetly melancholy, dense as an old-growth forest and diaphanous as a fallen leaf. So steeped are the Ensemble members in early music, that their original tunes are often indistinguishable from the traditional material.
The booklet notes I might type out at some point, my fingers do not feel up to it at the moment!
Enjoy the journey...