This is the third Machaut album by this group of musicians, with a few adjustements to the additional contributors. It doesn't represent a new approach to the repertory, but rather a continuation of the styles coming from Ensemble Gilles Binchois, the Center for Medieval Music, etc. And indeed a continuation of this group's own style, which began with an album devoted to Machaut's continuity with the earlier monophonic repertory, continued with a double album of the complete Remède de Fortune, and now with this more varied program.
The program here takes in much more territory than the earlier two, with the Remède being dominated by the long monophonic tracks, and forms a strength. The interpretation also takes on increasing nuance, from the vocal & instrumental technique to the ways these align. Multi-part pieces with vocal tunings matching the resonances of instrumental drones are quite striking, for instance, and show an impressive attention to detail.
This recording was named my EM Record of the Year for 2013.
To medieval secular listTodd M. McComb