Most of the present program is what I have been calling "Renaissance," although here it is presented as continuous with the late Medieval. The program is thus quite stimulating, especially as it provides a different perspective on the early 15th century. Specifically, the anonymous works in the more thirds-based style are quite interesting, and relatively unknown.
The performance is very dynamic, from the sweep of the program, to the virtuoso lines. The recorder playing is especially striking here. This might be the most impressive performance the present ensemble has produced to date, including an impressive variety of styles.
As time goes on, this program loses some of its impact, but also become more of a classic. The basic vision of continuity established here seems to have really taken hold, as did many aspects of performance style. With these strengths of the program transferred to many others, the lack of a clear repertory emphasis does become something of a weakness for this program and its companion.
This disc was named my EM Record of the Year for 1998.
To renaissance secular listTodd M. McComb