The first volume of Carmina Burana was only the second recording made by the New London Consort and its founder-director Philip Pickett, but the album was quickly recognised as a signal event in the wider dissemination of medieval music. Critics praised the fidelity to the spirit as well as the text of Carmina Burana; the eloquent and often witty text-centred singing of Catherine Bott, Michael George and others; and the imaginative use of a full medieval instrumentarium.
After the success of Volume 1, recorded early in 1986, L’Oiseau-Lyre recorded three further albums a year later, and they became the basis for the wider international reputation of the New London Consort. Since being issued as a set in 1996, Pickett’s Carmina Burana has long been unavailable: a significant lacuna in early-music recordings which this issue corrects.
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‘Pickett and the New London Consort’s scholarly and sensitive approach to both music and text in Carmina Burana (c.1300) confirms this issue’s place in the catalogue … These atmospheric performances, which boast excellent singing from soloists Bott and George, and ideal balance between voices and instruments, are further enhanced by warm, sympathetic recordings.’ BBC Music Magazine, January 2012
‘Highly committed, well prepared performances. Special, even exaggerated care has been taken with the expression of the words… It is vividly coloured, and certainly more entertaining than the blurred grey of scholarly caution’ Early Music magazine, February 1988 (Vol. 1)