Chansonnier Cordiforme

Le Chansonnier Cordiforme
Consort of Musicke - Anthony Rooley
L'Oiseau Lyre (Japan) POCL-3170 (3 CDs)

These are some of the finest songs ever written, and repertory of the highest possible interest. Although at this point, many of these items have been recorded in other collections, many have not been. The Japanese-only liner notes are a definite drawback, but maybe that will be remedied by a proper European reissue.

The Consort of Musicke always sounds somewhat as though they are singing their usual English repertory, and this is no exception. Of course, here the English influence on the Burgundian court is more tangible, so it can be fitting in some ways. The voices & sonorities are weak at times, but compelling at others. The individual lines themselves remain clearly audible, the articulation is good, and the performance is always more than serviceable.

Having listened to it over a period of time, I find the lesser known songs here to be quite worthwhile and increasingly compelling. This remains one of the most valuable releases for 15th century chansons, and probably will continue to be so for some time to come. At three CDs in length, it is a very substantial program, and basically irreplaceable. Unfortunately, it's also very difficult to find.

To renaissance secular list

Todd M. McComb