Clara Sanabras - The New Irish Girl - HMV Choice

This fine mezzo-sporano was born in Normandy and lived in Barcelona for a number of years before relocating to London in 1994. In a career which has focused chiefly on early music from the 14th to 17th century, she has performed in a great variety of notable settings including the Harp Consort, the Palladian Ensemble, The Purcell Quartet and her own medieval group Tintagel, to name a few. This project matches her with lute player William Carter - also of the Palladian Ensemble - and a few invited musicians and backing singers.

They tackle a wide variety of public-domain folk songs from the Irish, English and Scottish folk traditions which range from the familiar gaelic standards like Fear a' Bhata to obscure solo instrumental pieces, all detailed with informative sleevenotes. This is a refreshingly uncluttered recording, made in two churches in as many days, and has managed to maintain that immediacy that only live-in-the-studio performances seem able to capture. Touches of cello, viola, and psaltery add to the distinctly baroque ambiance. Gentle early-morning music par excellence.

HMV Choice
01 May 2002