Caron: Masses & Chansons

Caron: Masses & Chansons
The Sound and the Fury
Fra Bernardo 120 730 2 [CDx3]

Much of what was said for the previous recording of Caron by this ensemble seems relevant, so for now, only slightly modified:

This release presents a natural companion to this ensemble's discs devoted to Faugues, and in this case, Caron had received even less attention on disc up to the point they recorded his music.

I find this music far more compelling. There is more rhythmic differentiation and more feeling of excitement & acceleration in the way the movements progress. This is clearly high quality music from this time period, and well worth hearing.

The performance by "The Sound and the Fury" is quite good, intelligently constructed and with enjoyable sonority & articulation. It also has a great energy level, something they often seem to be able to bring to music of this era, and something that seems to fit Caron's voice quite well. This is a highly energetic program.

The more I listen to this music, the more I like it. I am absolutely amazed it lay unrecorded for so long when it had had a critical edition for decades. I really do wonder what failed to attract performers, because this is some very compelling material.

The earlier Caron recording was named my EM Record of the Year for 2009, although it's now been replaced here by the current, larger set.

Even subsequently, my esteem continues to rise. Although I had been pointing out that Caron, who had a major reputation at the time, was receiving no attention by performers, I had no idea how much I would end up liking his music. It really came out of nowhere, although by the time I knew a complete recording of the masses was coming, I fully expected to enjoy it.

My enthusiasm is mainly centered on the five masses, although the chansons are welcome too. The Sound and the Fury has such command of the masses, as they've been recording so many from the period over these last few years, including of course two of Caron's already. The chansons are a departure, and regular readers will know that I've never been a great fan of all-vocal chanson interpretations from this period. The chanson interpretations aren't entirely satisfying, but they still let us hear the music. (It's also unclear to me if they're making the claim that this is all of the chansons, and thus dismissing many from previous academic listings, or if I misunderstood the claims of completeness.)

To renaissance sacred list

Todd M. McComb
Updated: 24 August 2015