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Showing posts from January, 2013

Gramophone Obit July 1976.

The following comes from the Gramophone magazine. It is an article by Christopher Bishop who was Munrows producer.

August 12th, I942—May I5th, 1976

There must be many of David Munrow's friends who, like me, find it hard to accept the fact that he is dead. His continued presence on television and on records makes it even more difficult to realize fully that so vital a person has gone. He leaves behind the very happiest memories, both musical and personal.

David first bounced into my life in 1970, when we did a BBC programme together of madrigals accompanied by instruments. Basil Lam suggested that we should use David's recorder consort, and when I heard them play I realised that I had never heard recorders play in tune before. After the programme, I drove David from Broadcasting House to St John's Wood station, and on that short journey he told me about his work. That was typical of him—he never wasted a minute. Next morning he flew into my office with a tape of the full C…

Royal Albert Hall Prom Listing II

Search criteria: Showing performances by 637
Historical filter: 1890 - 2011
Total found: 59
Sorted: By date



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Displaying 41 - 59 of 59
First | Previous
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Monday 11 August 1975, 7:30PM



Josquin des Prez Credo super 'De tous biens plaine'


Early Music Consort of London
David Munrow conductor



Proms premiere


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Monday 11 August 1975, 7:30PM



Josquin des Prez Spagna


Early Music Consort of London
David Munrow conductor


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Monday 11 August 1975, 7:30PM



Antoine Brumel Missa 'Et ecce terrae motus'

- No. 2 Gloria

Early Music Consort of London
David Munrow conductor






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Monday 11 August 1975, 7…

Royal Albert Hall Prom Archive Listing I

The following is a cut, and paste listing from the Royal Albert Hall archives. RS

Search criteria: Showing performances by 637
Historical filter: 1890 - 2011
Total found: 59
Sorted: By date



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Displaying 1 - 40 of 59
Next | Last
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Thursday 30 July 1970, 7:30PM



Francesco Landini La bionda treccia [Her blond tresses]


David Munrow medieval wind instruments/director


Early Music Consort of London



Proms premiere


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Thursday 30 July 1970, 7:30PM



Francesco Landini Questa fanciulla, Amor [Love, please make this girl compassionate]


David Munrow director
Nigel Rogers tenor


Early Music Consort of London



Proms premiere


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Thursday 30 July 1970, 7:30PM



Anonymous Lamento di Tristano


David M…

Examining An Earlier "Pied Piper".

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Another populariser of Early Music who died just before Munrow set up his Early Music Consort was Noah Greenberg. However, the former though is still regarded by many as the greatest  populariser of Medieval, and Renaissance Music. But Noah Greenberg is certainly well worth knowing about as he played a vital role in Early Music...................






(Ref liberensemble.com)



Section I

Pied Piper:
The Many Lives of
Noah Greenberg
James Gollin
(Pendragon Press
Hillsdale NY 2001)

Our Reviewer at Work                                              (ref ralphmag.org)


In 1928, Max Schachtman and a number of other comrades were expelled from the US Communist Party for heresy: they had been guilty of reading articles by Leon Trotsky, and of raising questions about the increasingly arbitrary rule of General Secretary Stalin.

The group came to be called "Trotskyists" but some --- Schachtman especially --- went much further than Trotsky in applying Marxist analysis to the USSR itself, and i…

The Crumhorn Controversy

It is said that Munrow was inspired to take up early music by seeing a crumhorn in a room occupied by Thurston Dart.....However.....


David Griffith who has a tribute site to David Munrow revealed on the forum the following..


.....According to correspondence I have received, the crumhorn may have in fact belonged to another Cambridge contemporary, John Moore. Here's what he had to say on the oft-quoted crumhorn on the wall inspiration for Munrow:

"I remember David bursting on the Cambridge music scene- I was at Jesus and he straight away threw himself with terrific energy into our musical activities. I believe on one occasion there was a Purcell production with scantily clad nymphs who we intended should be frolicing in the college grounds.The day of the production it rained and the performance had to be moved to the chapel, which caused a mild stir amongst the audience. David and I were asked by Laurence Picken to do an evening for the Asian Music circle (which also intereste…

The Papers of David Munrow at the Royal Academy of Music, London

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Access to Archives Part of the UK archives network Royal Academy of Music Library
Papers of David Munrow


The hierarchical structure of this catalogue is shown below. See the entire contents of the catalogue
ReferenceDMCovering dates1908-1976Held byRoyal Academy of Music LibraryExtent706 filesConditions of accessNo access conditions apply.Archival historyPurchased in 1993 from from Iaan Wilson (occasional Early Music Consort of London member), who acquired the Munrow collection from Sotheby's. In addition to the archive material catalogued, there is a range of books (not all music-related) and scores (unmarked) owned by Munrow that will be housed as appropriate within the main body of the Library of the Royal Academy of Music (their source to be noted as David Munrow in the main catalogue). All marked scores have been incorporated in the archive.CreatorsMunrow, David John, 1942-1976, early woodwind instrumentalistArrangementThe collection is arranged as follows: DM/1, Correspondence…

Pembroke College, Cambridge

Because of his great influence Munrow was mentioned on the website on Pembroke College, Cambridge, and is here reprodouced. The full article can be seen by clicking on the link below the extract. RS



One of the most ebullient conductors of the Pembroke Singers was David Munrow (1942-1976), who entered the college as an undergraduate in 1961. With his contemporary Prof. Christopher Hogwood (Pembroke 1960, now an Honorary Fellow and Honorary Professor of Music at Cambridge), he formed the Early Music Consort of London in 1967. His deep insight into the music of mediaeval and renaissance composers, and his virtuosity on many wind instruments, popularised the cause of early music worldwide.


http://www.pem.cam.ac.uk/the-college/pembroke-past-and-present/music/

Nakers, not Knackers!

I doubt whether DM would have been offended in any way if he saw this post onsite. It comes from another discussion group on google, and was apparently written by a noted journalist who had met him.


The English-Irish expression "hit in
the (k)nackers" (struck in the testicles) is thought to originate from the
tiny tunable medieval kettledrums called Nakers strung on waist belt
and lying roughly in the testicle region.  Struck one handed with a
stick and if you missed.....


During the upsurge of interest in medieval music in the UK in the 60s I
was often out banging my Nakers.



In fact the situation got so serious
that after complaints from outraged listeners, the BBC Pronunciation
Department issued an edict to all announcers (Red Capitals said:
IMPORTANT PRONUNCIATION INSTRUCTION).


"Some pronunciation of the word Naker (a medieval percussion
instrument) has caused offence.  Please note that the word should be
pronounced NAY-ker or NAY-kers with a…

The BBC Announcement.

For me David Munrow was a childhood "hero".  I never forgot the day he died. I was in my parent's car. I was in the back seat sandwiched in by my grandparents. We were returning from a cream tea at Cliveden House. As usual my father turned on the radio to hear the news. As I saw Windsor Castle coming into view (I lived in Windsor) I heard about the passing of DM who apparently "...died in the early hours of the morning..." at the age of 33...what a sad waste, and yet, he achieved so much with his life.......

The Times on their front page right at the top stated simply Goodbye to Pied Piper. It gave page reference to an article by Bernard Levin on DM.

However, his work as  a popularizer in one sense goes on with the reissues of his recordings. They are still in demand! It is also wonderful to see that his two record set Instruments of the Middle Ages, and Renaissance is on occasion seen at a second hand record/cd/tape shop in Nottinghill Gate. Hopefully, it will …

Some References to Hogwood, and Munrow..

These are some references from the net to certain happenings with Hogwood, and DM. The following seems to do with their experiences in Czechslovakia..


I (Hogwood) used to do some translating for Kricka, the son of the composer, a very elegant man, who ran the Supraphon records. I met Milan Munclinger and his group, Venhoda ... At Christmas. David Munrow came to see me--he was very interested to see what was happening here and they all came to talk to him because he was already quite known for medieval music playing. So we did a little show on radio, It was very mutual exchange.

ref There are many things to finish: interview with Chistopher Hogwood.

Czech Music,01-JUL-03,Brezina, Ales.


This little show on radio may be the same one which DM mentioned in a letter to someone in authority in the BBC, and which appeared in Humphrey Carpenters book entitled Envy of the World if I recall correctly.




Also, the following comes from Music in Schools Today. It is an interview with Nicholas McGe…

Music of the Crusades

The following two reviews appear to be reasonably informed reviews on DMs classic Music of the Crusades. They emanate from Amazon.


Marvelous recreations of music from the time of the Crusades, 6 July 2004
By Lawrance M. Bernabo (The Zenith City, Duluth, Minnesota)

This review is from: Music of the Crusades (Audio CD)

Of the "Music of the Crusades" collected on this very interesting album, several actually deal with the Crusades. I am always on the look out for interesting bits of music and film that can be used in history classes to bring the period alive for students and this certainly qualifies. This album contains examples of different types of songs, sung mostly in French and Latin. The lyrics alone are fascinating ("The French are degenerate if they refuse to support God, for I have warned them") and one song, "Ja nus hons pris," is attributed to Richard the Lion-Heart. Teachers covering the Middle Ages can certainly find a song or two to share wi…