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Signum 1997-2012

Signum began as an independent early music specialist label, and for their 15th anniversary the Early Music Collection [Signum: SIGCD301] is one of six compilations released at c. £6 each.

Each disc is carefully selected (what a pleasant job that must have been) and prompts questions about listening to recorded music...

Certainly, they will all be invaluable for radio programme presenters. It would also be good to have comments from MusicalPointers visitors whose listening routines must be very various ?

I have given detailed attention to the three depicted below, which particularly appealed to me, and have had so much pleasure from the Early Music Collection that I have put it onto my iPod to enjoy listening whilst walking in the Park and sometimes for travelling.

The A Cappella set (Swingles, Kings Singers, BBC Singers and many other groups you might not think of) [Signum: SIGCD299] is light fare and makes for happy listening; mostly clever arrangements of music, some familiar and many tracks in English. (There are occasional tracks which are not well matched with their neighbours for volume.)

The Organ Collection [Signum: SIGCD302], featuring mainly big cathedral organs and others such as those at the Royal Albert Hall and Buckingham Palace, will bring delight to collectors of organ CDs.

That repertoire responds well to compiling tracks. It will be fine for showing off your latest equipment. The complete works are, of course, indicated in the listings and on postage-stamp imaages on each booklet cover.

These discs, on heir own, are not for listeners who aren't interested in pursuing the learned musicological information provided with many of the original CDs; they cater for more for casual listening.

Will this set (not boxed) lead to renewed sales of the carefully presented parent discs? Maybe there would be a better chance of that with a price incentive link to those of, say, Signum's first five years or decade; that's for the firm's accountants to work out, I guess. (Times are hard, so Musical Pointers does unapologetically allow a little bias towards budget discs and re-releases in some of its appraisals.)

Peter Grahame Woolf