L'avant-garde de Jean Duc de Berry

Corps femenin
L'avant-garde de Jean Duc de Berry
Ferrara Ensemble - Crawford Young
Arcana 355

This is the Ferrara Ensemble's fourth album devoted to Ars Subtilior repertory, recorded over a period of more than 15 years. Crawford Young participated in some of the early recordings with Project Ars Nova, etc. In other words, a lot of experience went into making this recording, even if it reflects three different sessions. One might also consider that not so many decades ago, this music was considered to be basically unplayable. Now it starts to sound idiomatic, but the improvement with time is also tangible, making this easily the Ferrara Ensemble's most recommendable program, and a very worthwhile interpretation of the repertory more generally.

More specifically, there is better differentiation of how the different contrapuntal parts articulate together at various points. In some earlier recordings, such a conception was relatively fuzzy & undetailed, leading to less of a contrapuntal profile, and to more consistent harmonic feel.

Regarding the particular items recorded, there is some mix of novel and well-known songs from the period. So the program cannot be said to be "special," but it is of good merit.

To medieval secular list

Todd M. McComb