Cyprus - Antiphons

Cypriot Advent Antiphons
Anonymous c.1390
Huelgas Ensemble - Paul Van Nevel
Deutsche Harmonia Mundi 7977

This is a fascinating cycle of antiphons, and one of the most interesting sacred compositions of the period. There is a lot of very elaborate isorhythmic passagework, yet the pieces hold together in a coherent way. In fact, there are motivic connections through the cycle, making it stand as perhaps the largest-scale isorhythmic work. Despite its obscurity, it can be viewed increasingly as a monument of the period, and a cycle of uncommon difficulty.

The performance is competent. There is an extensive use of instruments, and perhaps not the most emphatic phrasing. However, as time passes, the basic competence of the performance makes it more than worthwhile to represent this imposing cycle of isorhythmic works.

To medieval sacred list

Todd M. McComb