The three volumes were recorded over a period of 8 years, and there are personnel changes from volume to volume, so perhaps these items should be listed separately. However, I've opted to keep them together. I don't know if more volumes are planned, and although other ensembles have recorded multiple Ars Subtilior programs, this seems to be the most systematic yet. So it is of unique value.
Similar to the discussion of the Ferrara Ensemble program, this is not even Kees Boeke's first series of Ars Subtilior recordings, as he participated in Mala Punica with Pedro Memelsdorff, as well as other albums intersecting this repertory. Here the concepts continue to refine, to the point that it's probably safe to say that these are the most detailed interpretations yet, really bringing out individual facets of the different songs.
I was somewhat less enthusiastic about volume 1 in this regard when it appeared, and indeed it is somewhat fuzzier than the others, in what continues to seem like a progressive clearing of not only the conceptual fog surrounding this music, but of the technical orientation needed. As notated music with an improvisatory feel, such an orientation can apparently take much of a lifetime to develop, particularly with the virtuoso demands of the material.
So let us hope for yet more....
To medieval secular listTodd M. McComb Updated: 31 May 2016