Johann Sebastian Bach did not develop as an artistic entity in a vacuum. While he may be considered the intellect that whipped music into some semblance of order, he was, by no means, the first to start or try to do so. Piffaro, The Renaissance Band, last written about by this critic on Music From the Odhecaton (Dorian, 2002), is a historically-informed ensemble not playing on modern instruments, but their precursors: Shawms, recorders, sackbuts, douçaines, harps, and bagpipes. On Back Before Bach, the band focuses on the music available to Bach's ear at the time.The sum of these instruments is an approximation of what the organ would become. The sound is rustic and organic with a nod to the literary and social Everyman. This music would grace Game of Thrones properly as a soundtrack.
This music is and sounds delightfully old and ageless. Well represented here is the music of Michael Praetorius, Johann Walther, Heinrich Finck, and Orlande de Lassus. The disc is organized in educational suites addressing different aspect of the period music from church to dance to an exposition of chromaticism is that is both beautiful and instructive. The modern purpose this music serves is to both instruct and uplift. It educates us that what we hear today or even yesterday, or even a thousand yesterdays ago did not arise out of nothing. It arose out of this
Christ Ist Erstanden; Innsbruch, Ich Muess Dich Lassen; A Solis Ortus/Christum Will Sollen Loben Schon; A Suite of German Dances; The World of Chrmatocism; A Song From Andernach Along the Rhine; Suite of German Dances.