Texte paru dans: / Appeared in:
GRAMOPHONE (08/2016)
Pour s'abonner / Subscription information


Code-barres / Barcode : 0034571281032



Outil de traduction (Très approximatif)
Translator tool (Very approximate)

Reviewer: Fabrice Fitch

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 (Hé, 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. But then, variety is the disc’s guiding principle, for pieces with the same number of voices are otherwise clearly contrasted. Equally, the progression from one to four voices becomes a rhetorical gambit in its own right, so that the last of the three-voice pieces and the concluding Aucune gent /Qui plus aimme feel like the culmination of a process. This knack of effective programming serves this particular composer particularly well.


The Orlandos themselves appear in a variety of combinations. In the series’ previous instalments it was the voice of countertenor Matthew Venner that stood out, but here the three lower voices dominate proceedings, nowhere more effectively than on Vos dous regars, perhaps the disc’s finest performance among the polyphonic pieces. The virelais, again, are a rare chance to hear the singers’ individual voices. It is perhaps inevitable that Machaut’s varied ranges serve up the occasional curve ball (or yorker, if you prefer), and Se je me pleing stretches the lower duo uncomfortably. But it’s a single duff note in an otherwise very impressive recital.


  Consultez d'autres mois / Browse other months 
Des centaines de critiques disponibles / Hundreds of reviews available


Cliquez l'un ou l'autre bouton pour découvrir bien d'autres critiques de CD
 Click either button for many other reviews