La Rossignol is a collection of dancers, singers, and musicians devoted to performing Renaissance and Baroque dances. “Aire e Danze Cortigiane” presents some of the tunes they perform on stage. The selections aren’t especially ground-breaking. Many early music groups have recorded music from Tielman Susato, Pierre Attaignant, Ambrosius Dalza, and Thoinot Arbeau.

The collection of instruments La Rossignol uses isn’t particularly outre. The ensemble features lute, spinetta, viola da gamba, chitarra moresca, flauto, and assorted percussion. The overall ensemble blend, to me, sounds somewhat middle of the road.

So what does make this release stand out? The performances. I think it’s because the musicians of Rossignol play for dancers. This is dance music, after all, and La Rossignol delivers. Every track, whether slow or fast, had a strong pulse that continually pushed forward.

I often caught myself tapping my foot to the music. Mission accomplished.

I was initially irritated that there were no liner notes with my review copy. Nothing about the history of Renaissance dance music, or the composers, or the publications. But maybe there’s a reason for that. All you can do with this release is just listen to the music and take it for what it is. Nineteen tracks of music that make you want to dance. If only I knew how to bransle….

La Rossignol: Arie e Danze Cortigiane
Ill Millenio