The value & quality of the many French songs in the Cyprus/Turin manuscript is the matter of some debate, but the fact is that this is a very significant percentage of the surviving output in this general style (for Europe as a whole), and at a minimum there are some interesting & enjoyable items.
The performance here, in the earliest repertory recorded to date by this ensemble, is quite accomplished. There is a great attention to the structure & details of the music, as well as a good energy and ability to articulate lines. In short, at times, this is the best available Ars Subtilior rendition to date. The decision to perform some of the songs in purely instrumental versions is enjoyable enough, but the vocal work elsewhere is very good, and would be enjoyable in these as well. Also, at times, there is an aggressive doubling of the voice, which I simply do not enjoy. I consider that particular performance decision to be a mistake, but fortunately it does not happen throughout.
In short, this is a quality program of some under-represented material, presented in such a way to help improve the general command of Ars Subtilior performance. This disc was named my EM Record of the Year for 2006.
To medieval secular listTodd M. McComb