Chansons c.1420

De Tristesse, de Deuil, de Desplaysance
Songs from Ms. Oxford, Bodleian Library, Canonici Misc. 213
Tetraktys - Kees Boeke
Etcetera 1911

Building on this ensemble's series devoted to the Chantilly Codex, i.e. basically the preceding generation of music, this program & interpretation form one of the most compelling albums to date to illustrate the stylistic transition happening in the chanson form in the decade around 1420. Both songs that reflect the older Ars Subtilior, and songs with new "simpler" harmonies are included. Indeed, the latter become contextualized according to the previous practices they were intended to evoke.

It took me a few hearings in order to warm up to this program & interpretation, however — beyond that I didn't learn of this album until a couple of years after its release. So, in that sense, it still seems a bit impenetrable, but does reward attention, particularly with its own attention to detail regarding technical musical concerns of the period. This is clearly the most accomplished interpretation in this particular niche.

To medieval secular list

Todd M. McComb