Musica Pacifica releases Dancing in the Isles

San Francisco-based Baroque ensemble Musica Pacifica, described by the press as “some of the finest baroque musicians in America” (American Record Guide) and “among the best in the world” (Alte Musik Aktuell), unveils their newest recorded and live touring project, Dancing in the Isles, which highlights Baroque and traditional music from England, Scotland, and Ireland. This recording features the illustrious talents of sought-after early music players Judith Linsenberg, recorder and whistle; Elizabeth Blumenstock and Robert Mealy, baroque violins; David Morris, baroque ‘cello, and viola da gamba; Charles Sherman, harpsichord; Charles Weaver, theorbo and baroque guitar; and Peter Maund, percussion.

A merry detour for a group whose previous recordings have focused on Baroque giants such as Bach, Vivaldi, Scarlatti and Telemann, the music on this CD reflects the variety of crosscurrents that made the musical culture of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Great Britain such a rich and diverse one. At that time, a vivid range of musical styles included Scots and Irish tunes which appealed to the sophisticated London audiences as an emblem of their native culture; centuries-old Irish and Scottish culture was being preserved in the rural villages of the rugged hinterlands, where Celtic languages are spoken to this day. With compositions by James Oswald, Matthew Locke, Nicola Matteis, Francesco Veracini, and Henry Purcell, Dancing in the Isles also includes English country dances arranged by Musica Pacifica as well as traditional Scots and Irish tunes arranged by core ensemble member Elizabeth Blumenstock.

The eighth album by Musica Pacifica as well as the first to be released on the Solimar label, Dancing in the Isles was recorded in Mountain View, CA; and is available for purchase at,,, and on iTunes.

Musica Pacifica has, since its founding in the San Francisco Bay Area in 1990, garnered a widespread reputation as one of America’s premier baroque ensembles by bringing together virtuosic musicianship with imaginative programming and a spirited performing style. Called “the crème de la crème of the West Coast early music scene” by Alte Musik Aktuell (Regensburg, Germany), these highly accomplished musicians are masters of their repertoire who regularly perform with Philharmonia Baroque, American Bach Soloists, and other prominent early music ensembles in the U.S. and around the world. Musica Pacifica has been featured at the Berkeley Early Music Festival three times, and has appeared on many of the most prestigious concert series in the U.S. and abroad, including Music Before 1800 and the Frick Collection (NY), Tage Alter Musik (Regensburg), the Getty Museum (LA), the Cleveland Art Museum, the Pittsburgh Renaissance and Baroque Society, the Seattle Early Music Guild, the Los Angeles County Museum, and the Cambridge Early Music Society (MA), among many others. Its seven prior recordings have been lauded in the classical music press. The Telemann CD was described by Early Music America Magazine as “superbly elegant…exemplifying the finest in historical performance today;” this disc went on to win the 2003 Chamber Music America/WQXR Record Award. The Mancini recording was cited in 2000 as a “Noteworthy Disc” at the International Antonio Vivaldi Awards for Italian Early Music in Venice. Their “Fire” CD was a featured recording on Minnesota Public Radio, who reported “If you’re looking for a dynamic Baroque recording featuring virtuoso performers at the top of their game, this is it.” Online, Musica Pacifica may be heard on radio station, and on; and seen on