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Fanfare Magazine - Issue 34:2 (11/12-2010)

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Abridged version:
Reviewer: J. F. Weber
"... Crawford Young’s interest in the Ars Subtilior, demonstrated on his previous discs, is evident again. He gives us first recordings of three pieces from Codex Chantilly among nine selections from that sumptuous manuscript (three other pieces come from as many other manuscripts). One of these, Angelorum psalat tripudium, which opens the program, engaged Young so completely that he wrote an article about it in Ricercare recently. Young’s scholarly credentials may be judged by the fact that an important article by Yolanda Plumley in Early Music History No. 22 (2003) cites two of his earlier Arcana recordings. Plumley was writing about the patronage of French princes, and her article was a peek into her work on the commentary and facsimile of Codex Chantilly that appeared two years ago. The subtitle of the disc wraps up all of this as “the avant-garde of John Duke of Berry.”

"It is not the Codex Chantilly that was compiled for the duke but some of the music that was later copied into it. The disc is titled after
Corps femenin, a song by Solage ...), that may have been composed for the wedding of the duke’s son to Catherine, daughter of Charles V. (Not mentioned is their relationship, first cousins; her age, nine; and her death two years later.) Calextone, also heard here, belongs to the same occasion. Three other songs are connected with the second marriage of the duke himself in 1389: Passerose de beaute, Quant joyne cuer, and Roses et lis ay veu..."

"If the notes make a fascinating essay, the music is equally entrancing. While four pieces are rendered instrumentally (oddly including the disc title piece, which has a text significant in the annotation), the rest are sung with all the strophes, something still not done often enough in this repertoire. Anyone who remembers Young’s earlier discs will not need much urging to grab this one. It’s very well done."



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