Codex Las Huelgas

Fons luminis
Codex Las Huelgas
Ensemble Gilles Binchois - Dominique Vellard
Evidence Classics 051

Ensemble Gilles Binchois has been involved with the Notre Dame repertory — & this Las Huelgas program is undertaken in relation to the Notre Dame repertory that dominates it — for more than thirty years now, and so the interpretations continue to gain in refinement. As the most recent issue, these interpretations are particularly rich in detail. The Las Huelgas orientation also brings justification for a female ensemble, and the resulting variation in sounds & textures (with the all-male groups employed on some tracks) is welcome as well.

Regarding the repertory, it's an interesting selection among a relatively vast array of possibility. That it covers a variety of forms is welcome, and various individual pieces do have distinctive qualities, even as no particular pieces really stand out amidst the repertory as a whole. (There are none of Perotin's massive quadruplex pieces, for instance, although the concluding organum does have a potent quality.)

Altogether, this program & interpretation do paint a vivid musical picture, one of many that might be painted.

To medieval sacred list

Todd M. McComb