Recording of the Year - 1995

It's time for me to hand out awards for the best EM recordings released in 1995. This is based purely on my personal whims, so don't take it too seriously. Obviously, one key factor is that the repertory has to be of interest to me -- hence most of the Baroque will be ineligible. After that, the decisions are based on a combination of repertory significance, performance decisions and execution. As I said, personal whim....

Recording of the Year for 1995

John Dunstaple - Orlando Consort
Metronome 1009

The Orlando Consort has made some fine recordings in the past, but here they tackle repertory which was sorely in need of an updated, first-rate performance. This is a case where the repertory seems almost tailor-made for the group, and it is carried off very well. This will be the quintessential Dunstable recording for some time to come and a landmark for 15th century English polyphony.


Ecole de Notre Dame de Paris - Ensemble Gilles Binchois
Harmonic 9349

This is an extremely fine rendition of polyphonic organum, including the "Viderunt omnes" of Perotin. The scrupulous polyphonic articulation makes it a must-hear.

Honorable Mention

Byrd/Gibbons: Harpsichord Works - Laurent Stewart
Pierre Verany 795051

Stewart has a nice affinity for the Gibbons fantasias.

Spirits of England & France, III / Binchois et al. - Gothic Voices
Hyperion 66783

Gothic Voices is finally back to the 15th century where their singing style is at its most idiomatic.

Lescurel: Fontaine de grace - Ensemble Gilles Binchois
Virgin Veritas 45066

A well-articulated recording of secular music from the 13th century, with a nice sonic variety.

Purcell: Fantazias & In Nomines - Fretwork
Virgin Veritas 45062

This is another program tailor-made for the performers; it seems almost inevitable.

Best wishes for 1996....

To Recording of the Year page

Todd M. McComb