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Matteis - Held By The Ears - Palladian Ensemble - The Observer

31 January 2000
The Observer

The Palladian Ensemble discovered the work of 18th century Italian composer Nicola Matteis by chance some ten years ago and by their own admission it continues to surprise them. While some of his music they describe as "tedious doggerel" the quartet have also found moments of "sheer magic", and happily it's the latter that appear on Held By The Ears.

There if undoubtedly a folk flavour to Matteis' work and the ensemble highlight the point by cleverly juxtaposing it with popular Scottish tunes from the same period. The result is a refreshingly different and sprightly set full of energy and humour, which blows the cobwebs away from the usual presentation of early music.

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