Matteo da Perugia: Chansons

Matteo da Perugia: Chansons
Tetraktys - Kees Boeke
Etcetera 1918

This welcome (new, when I wrote this...) program devoted to Matteo develops the style that Tetraktys had been pursuing for some time at this point, particularly in their recent Chantilly Codex series. (It's still the most recent.)

Some writers believe that so much of Matteo's music survives for reasons other than quality per se (such as his links to the antipope), but there's still much to like.... (Indeed, at this point, I think it's safe to say that the music survives for good reason.) It's generally more consonant, less free-wheeling than some other Ars Subtilior music, but it's differently conceived from e.g. Dufay's own shift to more emphasis on thirds. Studies also suggest that Matteo wrote most of his own poetry, which was less common by that period.

In any case, I've been increasingly enjoying this album, as Boeke in particular has been performing this music for decades now, and continues to refine the style.... The result is quite sophisticated & compelling.

And this album really proves Matteo's skills as a composer (if there was lingering doubt...). The sophisticated interpretation is absolutely critical to that. It's increasingly a key recording in this listing, but at this point (i.e. especially prompted by the Zacara set), I'd really like to see a complete edition appear....

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Todd M. McComb
Updated: 22 September 2021