But in this release, Naxos doesn’t take the story quite so far; electing to end its survey of Anonymous at about 1700, and indeed, by this time the named composer was pretty much the rule of law; in manuscript copies a name was supplied to works—often wrongly—even if there was no name known. By virtue of restricting to such compass—mainly the Medieval and Renaissance eras—Naxos is able to showcase its wide variety of outstanding offerings in regard to music of these periods. The sequencing of the 48 Anonymous works presented is pleasant and easy to follow, and the performers represented are for the most part truly great ones—Tonus Peregrinus, Ensemble Unicorn, Oni Wytars Ensemble, Rose Consort of Viols, and so forth…An amusing liner note, provided by Brierly, posits a “biography” for Anonymous in a slightly tongue-in-cheek manner that is delightful and amusing. While we may never know who wrote the music on Naxos’ Anonymous, it serves its purpose well as a quirky yet comprehensive collection of Naxos’ early music recordings and is a bounty of music to boot. • AllMusic.com, August 2009
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