Recording of the Month, "Highly entertaining", MusicWeb International
In the course of this highly original programme, Terje Tønnesen and his Camerata Nordica tell us tales of madness and love, of battles and delusions. Building on imaginative scores by Biber, Telemann and Purcell, Tønnesen himself and Mikhel Kerem has fashioned even more colourful arrangements that bring human follies and passions to the fore.
In the course of the disc we are treated to rousing drum solos, a trio of Hungarian folk musicians makes a guest appearance in Biber’s ‘joking sonata’ and a Swedish nyckelharpa adds colour to the plaintive Aria in Battalia, before the listener is telescoped into the famous battle scene itself. Featured soloist soprano Karin Dahlberg gives us memorable portraits of madness in three English ‘Mad Songs’, and throughout the programme the members of the ensemble with equal conviction play their instruments, bay as a pack of hounds and groan as wounded musketeers. The result is a pageant fit for a street performance during a carnival – at turns absurd, burlesque, frightening and moving.