LISTSERV mailing list manager LISTSERV 16.0

Help for CLASSICAL Archives


CLASSICAL Archives

CLASSICAL Archives


CLASSICAL@COMMUNITY.LSOFT.COM


View:

Message:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

By Topic:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

By Author:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

Font:

Proportional Font

LISTSERV Archives

LISTSERV Archives

CLASSICAL Home

CLASSICAL Home

CLASSICAL  January 2005

CLASSICAL January 2005

Subject:

Medieval & Renaissance Recordings of the Year - 2004

From:

Todd Michel McComb <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Fri, 7 Jan 2005 12:05:33 -0800

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (163 lines)

 [ Note: This is a text version of a document available on the web at
        http://www.medieval.org/music/early/04.html
The remaining URLs in this document are links to detailed content
listings for the recordings mentioned. ]


Medieval & Renaissance Recordings of the Year - 2004

After various introductory discussions in previous years, I will
simply get to the point, and offer my selections.  Please see
discussions from previous years, or my CD Remarks page for context.

        Recording of the Year

Dominique Vellard and Ensemble Gilles Binchois established a standard
for Notre Dame polyphony with their two previous recordings from
the 1980s & 1990s.  Returning to this repertory in the 2000s,
including a re-recording of Beata viscera, they continue to set
standards.

        Perotin & L'Ecole de Notre Dame, 1160-1245
        Ensemble Gilles Binchois - Dominique Vellard
        Ambroisie 9947
        http://www.medieval.org/emfaq/cds/abs9947.htm

The current recording adopts a more aggressive articulatory stance,
and firmer diction.  There is still an elegance to the phrasing &
overall shaping, but any tentativeness is increasingly stripped
away.  The program itself is a good one, including some variety in
form, starting with Perotin's massive Sederunt principes.  Overall,
including the programs, I cannot rate this disc as dramatically
better than the earlier two, but it does represent a notable
development of style.  This remains pivotal repertory for Western
music.


        Honorable Mention

After A:N:S Chorus's revelatory recording of Agricola masses in
2001 (my Record of the Year for 2001), a second volume was certainly
welcome.  Although not as striking as the first release, the second
continues to illustrate Agricola's extravagantly arbitrary approach
to counterpoint.

        Agricola: Missa Le serviteur / Missa Je ne demande
        A:N:S Chorus - Janos Bali
        Hungaroton 32267
        http://www.medieval.org/emfaq/cds/hgr32267.htm

These masses are not as unusual as those recorded first by A:N:S,
but present many points of interest in Agricola's labyrinthine
style.  The performance continues to provide good energy & clarity,
although it does not really develop in cohesiveness from previous
efforts for this group.

---

In a quirk of timing, little of Josquin's most prominent music has
been re-recorded since further developments in the study of c.1500
polyphony during the boom of the late 1990s helped to refine
interpretation.  Among his mature mass cycles, there have been two
such "modern" recordings, both of the Missa Hercules Dux Ferrariae.
The second of these:

        Josquin: Music for Ercole I d'Este
        De Labyrintho - Walter Testolin
        Stradivarius "Dulcimer" 33674
        http://www.medieval.org/emfaq/cds/svs33674.htm

The natural comparison here is with the recording by Pomerium, cited
in my 2003 review.  In my estimation, the previously unknown De
Labyrintho ensemble bests Pomerium slightly.  I will simply quote
myself from another source: "There is a fine sense of rhetorical
form here, combined with contrapuntal momentum in such a way as to
highlight the internal dialog between differing lines in the mass.
Sonorities can be striking to the ear, and this ... ensemble displays
evident passion for the music."

---

Although often grouped with them, Dufay's music presents different
interpretive issues than the later works of Agricola & Josquin.
Indeed, his major masses had received satisfying renditions well
before recent inroads into the music of the later masters.  However,
there is always something else to try, and indeed a quirk similar
to that affecting Josquin's discography had left the Missa Se la
face ay pale without a satisfying rendition until now.

        Dufay: Missa Se la face ay pale
        Diabolus in Musica - Antoine Guerber
        Alpha 051
        http://www.medieval.org/emfaq/cds/alp051.htm

Much as Gothic Voices did with La Rue in 1998 (cited in my 1998
review), Diabolus in Musica has approached Dufay's mass from the
perspective of earlier music.  Indeed their recent recording of
English music of the 14th century (my Record of the Year in 2002),
combined with their various recordings of French medieval music,
provided an exemplary historical background for this mass.  The
result is wonderfully cohesive & articulate, rich & forceful in
tone.  The quality of the interpretation is such that it is only
the relatively uneven nature of this transitional mass which prevents
this recording from vaulting ahead of those above it.

---

Although I had some admiration for Adam de la Halle's 3-voice
rondeaux, his theatrical music had made little impression.  However,
that changed this year with the adventurous interpretation of
Micrologus.

        Adam de la Halle: Le jeu de Robin et Marion
        Micrologus
        Zig-Zag Territoires 040602
        http://www.medieval.org/emfaq/cds/zzt40602.htm

Here, the monophonic songs are given a polyphonic treatment via
accompaniment.  An argument that this could or would have been done
at the time need look no farther than the resulting performance,
which is so lucid & compelling that it argues for itself without
the intervention of words.  This insight, and necessary command of
the contrapuntal style of the 13th century, is combined with
Micrologus' trademark energy & brilliant sound to create a landmark
recording.  Curiously, this was one of three recordings featuring
Adam de la Halle to appear in close succession this year.

---

The unusual "measured" techniques of Claude Le Jeune represent a
more than worthwhile island of originality in the realm of late
Renaissance polyphony, and have been illustrated on recording
relatively often at this point.  However, Le Jeune's posthumous
songs have been neglected, and are perhaps his best work.

        Le Jeune: Airs & Pseaumes
        Corvina Consort - Zoltan Kalmanovits
        Hungaroton 32189
        http://www.medieval.org/emfaq/cds/hgr32189.htm

This Hungarian ensemble continues to create impressive interpretations
of songs in French, making for the most diverse & accomplished
program of Le Jeune's mature songs to date.

---

Finnish harpsichordist Aapo Hakkinen has begun to attract something
of a following, especially among those listeners interested in later
music.  Regular readers will know that instrumental music c.1600
is often a regular "appendix" here, and so Hakkinen's recording of
Frescobaldi must be noted.

        Frescobaldi: Harpsichord Works
        Aapo Hakkinen
        Alba Records 178
        http://www.medieval.org/emfaq/cds/abr178.htm

The virtuosic passagework of Frescobaldi seems to suit Hakkinen
perfectly.

Happy 2005!

Todd McComb
[log in to unmask]

Top of Message | Previous Page | Permalink

Advanced Options


Options

Log In

Log In

Get Password

Get Password


Search Archives

Search Archives


Subscribe or Unsubscribe

Subscribe or Unsubscribe


Archives

May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004
September 2004
August 2004
July 2004
June 2004
May 2004
April 2004
March 2004
February 2004
January 2004
December 2003
November 2003
October 2003
September 2003
August 2003
July 2003
June 2003
May 2003
April 2003
March 2003
February 2003
January 2003
December 2002
November 2002
October 2002
September 2002
August 2002
July 2002
June 2002
May 2002
April 2002
March 2002
February 2002
January 2002
December 2001
November 2001
October 2001
September 2001
August 2001
July 2001
June 2001
May 2001
April 2001
March 2001
January 2001
December 2000
November 2000
October 2000
September 2000
August 2000
July 2000
June 2000
May 2000
April 2000
March 2000
February 2000
January 2000
December 1999
November 1999
October 1999
September 1999
August 1999
July 1999
June 1999
May 1999
April 1999
March 1999
February 1999
January 1999
July 1997

ATOM RSS1 RSS2



COMMUNITY.LSOFT.COM

Secured by F-Secure Anti-Virus CataList Email List Search Powered by the LISTSERV Email List Manager