Here is the latest album from those prolific historical musicians. As you can see, from the CD cover below, “Instrumental Legends” is specifically compiled to narrate the life and times of Richard III.
As the title suggests they are all instrumental tracks, some of which were previously released on other albums. I really enjoy the instrumentals, despite not having Ian Churchward’s voice or lyrics, which I love too. The instrumentals also convey the ‘feeling’ of Mediaeval and Renaissance England, although most of the instruments did not exist in those times, especially the electronic keyboard! You might think the sound would be discordant combining, as it does, the mediaeval-style melodies with modern instrumentation. However, think of Rick Wakeman’s ‘King Arthur & the Myths and Legends of the Knights of the Round Table’ and it might give you some idea of the feel of the songs, although these do not have such a big sound as Wakeman. In particular, I feel ‘Fanfare for the King’ conjures up an image of Richard graciously waving to the adoring crown as he rides by on his Progress. I also love Confort et Liesse, but they all have lovely evocative melodies and excellent musicianship, so I have given a short description of each track below.
The full track list is as follows:
Plantagenet Pavane – starts off quietly and then the bigger sound comes in – there is a tambourine, I think.
Souvente Me Souvenne – Buckingham’s motto, this track begins with a positive and spirit-raising melody then changes to one that’s slightly more melancholy, then reverts to the first and finishes in a more downbeat way. Reflecting the ups and downs of his life?
Murrey and Blue – Solid, even beat at first but it then changes to a halting sudden hesitation, then on again.
Confort et Liesse – this makes me imagine the decadence of Edward’s court because, of course, this was his motto. Very appropriate.
Fanfare for the King – there actually is a fanfare in this and it is uplifting and evokes the King’s Progress.
John Nesfield’s Retinue – this track brings forth a military feel of a disciplined band of knights or soldiers mustering.
King Richard’s Daughter – This is a delicate, pretty tune and the sound is rather haunting and evoles a certain sadness.
Lambeth Ms474 – I’m not sure what this refers to but it is one of the longer tracks and has a very rousing melody.
Mortimer Overture – the longest track on the album at nearly four minutes and another great tune and rhythm.
Sans Charger – Very mediaeval in feel but as if electrified! Upbeat and addictive.
Sunnes and Roses – probably my favourite track, a great feel-good rhythm and catchy melody.
Tudor Tune – I might be biased but to me this sounds a bit discordant! As if there is a sinister undertone. I have a good imagination.
Lady of the Rivers – this starts off very gently and reaches a crescendo with the melody evoking ringing bells to me.
All in all, this is an excellent album evoking various scenes and moods from the time of Richard III and all with a new, modern twist. The best of both worlds!