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    From Le Monde, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, De Standaard, The Boston Globe and The Wall Street Journal to Diapason and Amadeus: An international selection of reviews in newspapers an​d magazines shows the stirring effect of Mala Punica's concerts and recordings through the eyes and ears of music critics.

    For many lovers of medieval music Mala Punica is almost a living legend. This explains why so many musicians crowded the hall last Monday: when Mala Punica get back on stage, you just want to hear them. Exuberant, highly refined and theatrical... Extreme contrasts chase each other so quickly that make you feel dizzy, embellishments flow out of their fingers faster than the speed of light. Everything you hear is pushed to the limit of the possible. Memelsdorff sucks you in and you feel how you lose the ground under your feet: wonderful! Mala Punica is and remains an experience.

    Annemarie Peeters / De Standaard

    The work of Mala Punica has come to feature the highest calibre of technical accomplishment serving some of the more unusual and arcane treasures of the Renaissance, laid out in radical but elevating, exquisite presentations.

    Steve Taylor / Hollow Ear

    In the ensemble Mala Punica every musician walks on the rope moved by the leader, Pedro Memelsdorff. With his reputation as a sound magician, he filled the cathedral. He massaged all the stiffness out and forged the pieces together into a sensual game between sound and space.

    Guido van Oorschot / De Volkskrant

    Medieval music has left far behind the phase of hurdy-gurdy and lute-guitars. In our historicist present nobody can render the intricate rhythms, the hackled melismas and endlessly circling melodies of the 14th century better than the ensemble Mala Punica, led by the fluting shaman Pedro Memelsdorff. Not unlike the US pop music, the Middle Ages have sworn fans: the Konzerthaus sold out, ovation for early madrigals and ballads by Paolo da Firenze to Jacopo da Bologna. And the jazzy syncopations and semi-toned scales have been reconstructed from old manuscripts, according to all the rules of medieval musicology.

    Dirk Schümer / Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

    Fantastic, mysterious works, and Mala Punica performs them with nothing less than excellence at every turn. The musicians are superb, their ensemble skills outstanding.

    Ellen Santaniello / Early Music America

    Could one ever perform those breakneck rhythms and bold voice leading really so clearly and masterly as Memelsdorff? The audience was fascinated.

    Gerhard Kramer / Wiener Zeitung

    These musicians open the doors of a musical continent they ideally restore due to the successful alliance of a great musicological expertise and a fine poetic and musical imagination.

    Renaud Machart / Le Monde

    Pedro Memelsdorff has not yet ceased to lay the foundations of another musical Middle Ages, as new, unexpected and exciting as the one we have been offered by our greatest historians.


    As usual, Memelsdorff and Mala Punica offer a very original perspective on this music. Either Memelsdorff is mad, or he is great. Maybe a touch of madness is necessary to dare as much and succeed as he does.

    Christophe Huss / Classics Today France

    Perhaps not since Thomas Binkley's Studio der Frühen Musik has a concert ensemble so successfully held the stage with music of such remoteness.

    Benjamin Dunham / American Recorder

    A concert by Mala Punica, the best medieval-music ensemble in the world, can be compared to a tensely coiled spring: once it begins to pounce, you are sucked into a wild trip that relentlessly leads you to a climax.

    Stefan Grondelaers / De Standaard

    The large audience in Boston's Faneuil Hall rewarded the players of this arcane repertory with prolonged applause; Landini, Ciconia and their contemporaries were well served.

    Howard Schott / Early Music

    The work of Mala Punica is exceptional in that they dedicate the highest care to both erudite presentation and musical performance. The concerts of Mala Punica are a sort of ceremony of unusual, magic beauty.

    Renaud Machart / Le Monde

    Mala Punica performed the madrigals of Don Paolo da Firenze (1390-1425) in Manhattan in the 'Music Before 1800' series on Sunday. Their densely allegorical texts, dissonances, spiraling melodies, irregular rhythms and strange bends of pitch make them dark, complex and fascinating. The four singers and small instrumental ensemble, led by recorder virtuoso Pedro Memelsdorff, were mesmerizing.

    Heidi Waleson / The Wall Street Journal

    The best and most prestigious music ensemble in its field..

    Pablo J. Vayón / Diario de Sevilla

    Mala Punica, founded by its director and flutist Pedro Memelsdorff, has established itself as the foremost proponent of the music of the Trecento, and of the subsequent period, the Ars Subtilior.

    David Tegnell / The Night Owl

    The instruments seem to come from far-away places: both celestial and infernal. The voices are transformed into the metaphysical song of an idealized world; they join in sidereal sonorities that hardly seem human; they suggest the flickering crackle of prolonged and flamboyant ornamentations, as flamboyant as the late-Gothic aesthetics that gave rise to the cultural world of Paolo da Firenze. An extraordinary collection of devices, which also contain symbolic overlaps, erudite quotations, double and hidden meanings, labyrinths of insinuations. Memelsdorff seems to tell us—and we are with him here—that art requires a great technical mastery, but it is above all a matter of reflection and concept.

    Massimo Rolando Zegna / Amadeus

    This extraordinary work is enthralling; gone are the traditional frontiers between profane and sacred, writing and improvisation, dance and plainchant (with phrasing to make you fall out of your seat!). One would say that this is perhaps a taste of the riches that early-music performances usually fail to give.

    David Fiala / Diapason

    In this exquisite work of decoding, Mala Punica is unrivaled. The impression of a waking dream that continues to grow on listening, is well matched with the rare refinement of the gesture of the re-creation, whether it be vocal or instrumental.

    Roger Tellart / Diapason

    There is something hypnotic verging on vertigo... we are seized by the almost mineral concretion that emerges from this miniature, with its sounds that seem to come from before the Flood. Intoxicating.

    Thierry Clermont / Les Inrockuptibles

    These artists attribute a key function to each of their albums: that of opening up a universe on a grand scale.

    Marc Desmet / Le Monde de la Musique

    The ornamentation, both vocal and instrumental, reigns supreme, with an incredible joy that comes from astonishment the texts produce: unexpected pauses, sometimes in the middle of a word, give expressive tension to the singers and excitement for the listeners; the organs in their high or very high register, enrich the whole like a classical frieze.

    Vittorio Mascherpa / OperaClick

    The perfect rendering of every little expressive nuance, the impalpable variations of dynamics, the micro-intervals of sound, the continuous play of glissandos and alliterations—but also the continuous movement of instrumentalists and singers in the imposing Baroque space of the basilica which exploits different acoustic responses—were the wonderful devices used by members of Mala Punica and their musical director. The final result was the achievement of maximum emotional effect from the texts and music, obtained through a remarkably skillful use of very essential means.

    Gilberto Mion / Teatro.it

    They are so accomplished and comfortable in the style that they can play around with it, as if juggling lots of balls without ever dropping one.

    Ines Zimmermann / Tibia

    Mala Punica envelops us in its poetry and leads us to a point of no return in which the hermetic and the rhetoric go hand in hand. The resulting sound is difficult to describe, there is so much richness in harmony, colour and sensation to be taken in.

    José Carlos Cabello / Boletín de Información Discográfica

    I do not know which is more admirable in both recordings: the esoteric strangeness or the wildly enthusiastic improvisation; the discreet melancholy or the agitated excitement of this music and its interpretation. As Jacques, the courtier in Shakespeare’s As You Like It, said: “More, I pr'ythee, more!”.

    Uwe Schweikert / Neue Musik Zeitung

    Mala Punica reveals to us a universe of true musical goldsmithing.

    — Jacques Merlet

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