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 2007

CLASSICAL January 2007

Subject:

Medieval & Renaissance Recordings of the Year - 2006

From:

Todd Michel McComb <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Moderated Classical Music List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Mon, 15 Jan 2007 14:58:23 -0800

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (146 lines)

[ Note: This is a text version of a document available on the web at
        http://www.medieval.org/music/early/06.html
The remaining URLs in this document are links to detailed content
listings for the recordings mentioned. ]


Medieval & Renaissance Recordings of the Year - 2006

It is time once again to select the best recordings of the previous year.
I have been doing this formally for over a dozen years now, and each
year presents a different sort of breakdown of worthy recordings.  For
2006, we have three medieval secular programs and two of Franco-Flemish
sacred polyphony.  And now to the list....

        Recording of the Year

It is unusual for a Record of the Year to feature a program where none
of the individual pieces is particularly well-known or distinctive. 
In this case, the Turin Manuscript, featuring songs from French-ruled
Cyprus, is entirely anonymous.  There has been some debate regarding
who might have compiled, and in turn composed, this material.  There
has also been debate over its musical merit, even more so than the Ars
Subtilior material at large.  Nonetheless, this is the single largest
source of secular polyphony from these decades, making it significant
by virtue of uniqueness alone.  Beyond that, many of the songs are quite
appealing, especially as the various idioms of c.1400 become better
known.

After a period of intense interest in performing the Ars Subtilior
repertory, often in very creative fashion, there had been something
of a lull in recording this music.  This year's release from La Morra
breaks that lull, and does so with the most technically compelling
interpretation to date.  There is some excellent music here, performed
well, and although it does not feature any "famous" pieces - as with the
Chantilly MS collections - the program takes on a central place in the
Ars Subtilior discography.

        Flour de Beaulte
        Late Medieval Songs From Cyprus
        La Morra
        Ramee 0602
        http://www.medieval.org/emfaq/cds/ram0602.htm

It is perhaps strange to be equivocal in a Record of the Year selection,
especially one chosen largely on technical merit, but my general enthusiasm
for this performance should not imply satisfaction with every interpretive
choice.  In particular, I do not like how the voice part is doubled
instrumentally at times.  Also, the choice of performing so many songs
without lyrics, while creating enjoyable instrumental compositions, does
not do them full justice.  Nonetheless, the choice of repertory from the
large manuscript is a good one, and the interpretation, pace the preceding
comments, truly shines.  Handling of rhythm, phrasing, articulation, and
tuning are outstanding.  La Morra sets a new standard for performing
this repertory, producing a rendition that seems entirely natural, thus
earning this spot for 2006.  An interesting fact of note is that this
is easily the earliest repertory they have recorded to date.

        Runners-up

First recordings of the major works of the great Franco-Flemish masters
are always in great demand, at least in this corner of the world.  Capilla
Flamenca continues to devote much of its attention to Pierre de la Rue,
and 2006 saw perhaps their best combination of repertory & performance
in a program of his sacred music to date.

        La Rue: Missa Ave Maria / Vespers
	Capilla Flamenca - Dirk Snellings / Psallentes - Hendrik
	        Vanden Abeele
        Musique en Wallonie 0633
        http://www.medieval.org/emfaq/cds/mew0633.htm

This is a very accomplished performance, featuring some of La Rue's best
music.  As opposed to some previous programs from this ensemble, the
plainchant sections are not as lengthy, leaving time for more of La Rue's
sacred polyphony to complement the mass.  The Magnificat is particularly
welcome.  Altogether, this is a fine addition to La Rue's discography
and a clear choice for this list.

---

When it comes to Franco-Flemish polyphony, it seems there is always room
for another look at the music of Josquin Desprez.  Ensemble De Labyrintho
released a second program in 2006, giving the impression that this may
turn into a more extensive series.

        Josquin: Musica Symbolica
        De Labyrintho - Walter Testolin
        Stradivarius "Dulcimer" 33722
        http://www.medieval.org/emfaq/cds/svs33722.htm

Not too many ensembles have been recording entire programs of Josquin's
music in the past few years, perhaps thinking it is over-exposed, but
new looks featuring up-to-date information on musica ficta, rhythm,
tempo, tuning, and sonority can still be quite valuable.  In the case
of De Labyrintho, their last two programs are simply the most-accomplished
yet devoted to Josquin.  For such a high-profile composer, it is perhaps
amazing that there are so many technical nuances which could benefit
from further refinement in 2006, but the fact remains.  Most major
recordings of Josquin's mass cycles are dated, scholarly, at this point
and so new programs such as this are very much needed.

---

The past few years have continued to see a fairly intense cultivation
of the lai form, largely driven by a small handful of performers.
Machaut's wonderful works in this area have been highlighted repeatedly,
and now in 2006, we have a systematic thematic program from the previous
generation of this repertory.

        Tristan et Yseut
        Alla Francesca - Brigitte Lesne & Pierre Hamon
        Zig-Zag Territoires 051002
        http://www.medieval.org/emfaq/cds/zzt51002.htm

Alla Francesca have clearly positioned themselves as leaders in this
area, and the result is a very enjoyable & worthwhile program.  This
was an easy release to slide neatly into medieval discographies, and it
is very valuable in clarifying some of the similarities and differences
between the lai and trouvere songs of the era, as well as providing a
fine context for the developments undertaken by Machaut.

---

It came as something of a shock to me that Gothic Voices had not
released a recording in so many years, once I took a look at their
discography for the purpose of pondering this 2006 release.  Combine
a timely renewed look at the Ars Nova in their own distinctive style
with a program featuring all of Solage's songs, and the result is
clearly worthwhile.

        The Unknown Lover
        Songs by Solage and Machaut
        Gothic Voices
        Avie 2089
        http://www.medieval.org/emfaq/cds/avi2089.htm

Although it is difficult, especially with this opportunity to hear his
complete output, to put Solage near Machaut in terms of compositional
prowess, the repertory remains welcome in one place on disc.  The new
recordings of Machaut songs by Gothic Voices are also enjoyable, making
for a fine overall program.

Happy 2007!

Todd M. 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