ahalani records
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ahalani records

New CD releases:

The Early Folk Band
Lumps of Pudding

The Early Folk Band's latest CD, a co-production between ahalani records and the German radio station SWR is available in our web shop now. To request a review copy please write to office{at}ahalani-records.com

Lumps of Pudding


"What an elegant Set—What a bustling of Rumps!
What a Sweet Toe to Toe-ing of Slipers and Pumps!
At the sight my Old Drumsticks are ready to Prance
There is nothing I love so as seeing Folks Dance."

"In the year 1718, one James Austin, "inventor of the Persian ink powder," desiring to give his customers a substantial proof of his gratitude, invited them to the Boar's Head to partake of an immense plum-pudding. This pudding weighed 1,000 lbs.; a baked pudding of 1 foot square, and the best piece of an ox roasted: the principal dish was put in the copper on Monday at the Red Lion Inn, by the Mint in Southwark, and had to boil fourteen days. From there it was to be brought to the Swan Tavern, in Fish Street Hill, accompanied by a band of music playing,"What lumps of pudding my mother gave to me"; one of the instruments was a drum in proportion to the pudding, being 18 feet 2 inches in length, and 4 feet in diameter, which was drawn by "a device fixt on six asses". Finally the monstrous pudding was to be divided in St. George's Fields, but apparently its smell was too much for the gluttony of the Londoners; the escort was routed, the pudding taken and devoured, and the whole ceremony brought to an end, before Mr. Austin had a chance to regale his customers."

Gesine Bänfer - Smallpipes, Whistles, dulcimer, cister, voice
Susanne Ansorg - fiddle, voice
Ian Harrison - smallpipes, flageolets, fiddle, cornett, voice
Steven Player - baroque guitar, cittern, voice

Concilum zu Constanz

The latest co-production between ahalani-records and the German national radio station Deutschlandfunk Kultur. To request a review copy please write to office{at}ahalani-records.com



The Council started badly for 'Pope' John XXIII. In the late autumn of 1414 in Vorarlberg, shortly before his destination, the coach he was travelling in rolled over and he was pitched out. It was a bad omen, considering it was he, together with King Sigismund, who had initiated the Council of Constance. This summit meeting gathered together Europe's political and religious elite, their trumpeters, shawm players, chapel singers and composers following them to this centre of power. Hundreds of masses were celebrated with liturgical music of the highest quality, while before the doors of the churches trumpets and shawms announced the exalted status of the guests with the heavenly harmony and diabolic din of trumpets and shawms.

In his chronicle of the Council of Constance Ulrich Richental gave an eyewitness account of the state entry of King Sigismund and his court:

"...do viengen all pfiffer und prosoner an pfiffen und prosonen so strenklich, das nieman sin aigen wort wol hören mocht." (The shawm and trumpet players began to blow and trumpet so loud that no-one could hear his or her own words)

In its 25th anniversary year the ensemble Les haulz et les bas marks the 600th anniversary of the end of the Council of Constance with a programme of music for the alta capella ensembles present there. Among the composers represented are:
Guillaume Du Fay - almost certainly present at the council as a choirboy and of whom Pierro de Medici would later call 'the greatest ornament of our time'.
Antonio Zachara da Teramo, composer to Antipope John XXIII and who disappeared at the time of the deposed Pope's escape from Constance.
Johannes Ciconia, who composed the motet Doctorem Principem in honour of his patron Francesco Zabarella, a legate of the Antipope and joint planner of the Council together with King Sigismund.
Oswald von Wolkenstein, the famous singer, poet, politician and composer who was taken on in the company of King Sigismund in Constance in 1415 and who wrote his own testimony as a fighter, rebel and womanizer in his songs. During and following the Council he borrowed freely for his poems the music of French, Italian and German compositions, which he had presumably heard performed there.

Gesine Bänfer - Shawm, bombard, percussion
Ian Harrison - Shawm, bombard, bagpipe
David Yacus - Buisines, slide trumpets
Nathaniel Wood - Buisines, slide trumpets
Nora Thiele - Tympani, nakers
Andrea Piccioni - Tamburello, percussion