By David Steinberg

Almost 75 minutes of music are on the newly released CD from the early music ensemble Música Antigua de Albuquerque.

The CD is titled “The Four Elements – Earth, Water, Air & Fire.” and contains 29 medieval and Renaissance compositions, starting from the 12th century  with Hildegard of Bingen’s “O ignis spiritu.”

The CD liner notes said Bingen became “the most celebrated woman of her time. She was involved in politics and diplomacy and her advice was sought by popes, emperors, kings and archbishops. …Her writings include a book of visions, two books on natural history and medicine, the earliest known morality play and a large collection of poetry and music.”

One of the moore recent – if that’s the right word – pieces on the album is Nicholas Lanier’s “Fire! fire! Lo here I burn.” It is from the early to mid-17th century. Lanier was a British composer and singer.

Among the selections from the intervening centuries are Michael Praetorius’ “Ballet des feus,” John Dowland’s “Deare, if you change,” Orlando di Lasso’s “Beau le cristal,” Giovanni Croce’s “Gode la terra” and Martin Codax’s “Ondas do mar de Vigo.”

The music on the CD comes out of western Europe, including the countries of Germany, England, Scotland, Spain, Italy and France.

The CD is Música Antigua’s sixth. “We often get asked by people at concerts, ‘Are you going to make another recording?’ That’s where the main consumers of our recorded music are, and also from people who are not able to come to our concerts but want to hear what we play,” said Art Sheinberg, a founding member of Música Antigua.

Sheinberg and his wife and fellow founding member Colleen Sheinberg  wrote the liner notes.

The compositions on the CD are basically the same as those the ensemble performed in concert last May.

The ensemble recorded the CD in about eight sessions at the University of New Mexico’s Keller Hall. Manny Rettinger and Elizabeth Rincón were the recording engineers. Rincón also did the editing and mastering.

Colleen Sheinberg said Keller was used because St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church, where the ensemble performs in Albuquerque, is on a busy street and “we don’t like the dead space of a recording studio. We prefer performing a space that’s live, and Keller Hall is.”

In addition to the Sheinbergs, the other Música Antigua members are Hovey Dean Corbin, Ruth Helgeson, David McGuire and Dennis Davies-Wilson.

Copies of the CD may be ordered from the website www.musica-antigua.org, by calling 505-842-9613 or may be purchased at Música Antigua concerts.

The next paired concerts are in March – at 4 p.m. Sunday, March 1 at Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church, 1701 Arroyo Chamiso, Santa Fe and at 4 p.m. Sunday, March 8 at St. Michael & All Angels Episcopal Church, 601 Montaño NW, Albuquerque. The concert’s theme is “A Trip to the Zoo.”

For concert reservations and information call 842-9613 or email sheinbergs@comcast.net.