Magazine article Gramophone

Machaut: 'A Burning Heart'

Magazine article Gramophone

Machaut: 'A Burning Heart'

Article excerpt

Machaut

'A Burning Heart'

Aucune gent/Qui plus aimme/Fiat voluntas tua. Cinc, un, trese. Esperance qui m'asseure. He, dame de vaillance. Helas, pour quoy se demente et complaint. Pas de tor en thies pais. Plus dure que un dyamant. Seje me pleing je n'en puis mais. Se mesdisans en acort. Tous corps/De souspirant/Suspiro. Tuit mi penser. Une vipere en cuer ma dame maint. Vos dous resgars, douce dame, m'a mort The Orlando Consort Hyperion (F) CDA68103 (59' * DDD * T/t)

In this third instalment of the series, The Orlando Consort present a kind of minimalist Machaut. Most of the songs on this disc are monodic virelais or two-voice pieces, the four voices joining together at the very end. On paper this might seem forbidding (not to say hair-shirt), but that would be to reckon without Machaut's range and versatility. The aforementioned virelais are marvels in this respect, here lucid and seemingly effortless (Tuit mi penser), there tortuous and deliciously unpredictable (He, dame de vaillance, which opens the recital). Hearing several of them grouped together (as with the Gothic Voices' 'The Mirror of Narcisssus' all those years ago--Hyperion, 1/84) offers a masterclass in maximum variety gleaned from minimal means. …

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