Mu­sic to dan­gle and bite to

Recorder quar­tet pays its salute to the spi­der

BBC Music Magazine - - THE FULL SCORE -

Whether head­ing over from Mars in the com­pany of Ziggy Star­dust or wrig­gling and wig­gling in­side the Old Lady Who Swal­lowed a Fly, spi­ders have played their own im­por­tant, if very oc­ca­sional, part in the long his­tory of mu­sic. And now Pal­isander, an en­ter­pris­ing recorder quar­tet with a love of in­ter­est­ing reper­toire and eight­legged beast­ies, have re­leased Be­ware the Spi­der, a disc to have arachno­phobes shriek­ing and jump­ing onto the bed with a broom. Much of the mu­sic on the record­ing was specif­i­cally writ­ten to com­bat taran­tism, a dis­or­der that, his­tory re­lates, was be­lieved to be caused by a bite from a spi­der – in some cases, the danc­ing of an en­er­getic taran­tella was re­quired to sweat out the poi­son; in oth­ers, play­ing a more melan­cholic melody was be­lieved more ap­pro­pri­ate. With ar­range­ments by Miriam Ner­val, one of Pal­isander’s play­ers, com­posers fea­tured in­clude Vi­valdi and Byrd. If you can’t get Be­ware the Spi­der at your lo­cal record shop,

you’ll def­i­nitely find it on the web.

stitch­ing so­prano: El­iz­a­beth Llewellyn wields the nee­dle

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