Conduits de l'Ecole de Notre Dame

Vox Sonora
Conduits de l'Ecole de Notre Dame
Diabolus in Musica - Antoine Guerber
Studio SM 2673

Although none of these pieces particularly stands out as of exceptional interest, the entire program is consistently interesting and valuable. A further look at the conductus of this era is quite desirable, and the recital is enjoyable throughout.

The performance is excellent, with an earthy tone which enhances the richly textured vocal tone to produce a compelling mix which is not as common as it could be. Phrasing is extremely potent and yields a powerful cumulative effect. Lines are clearly articulated, with clear diction making for an exemplary production.

This group's previous program featuring rondelli could also be mentioned, although the present program is somewhat more polished in presentation while also including some rondelli. There is also a Notre Dame program from several years later, featuring some very fine performance ideas, but also including a program which makes lower musical impact.

As this program continues to be valuable in the highly competitive sub-repertory of Notre Dame polyphony, besides the choice of repertory, I should mention a couple of performance traits I particularly enjoy: There is the way the lower lines sometimes emerge from the overall texture, whether in dialog or in passing, and also the very potent use of vocal ornamentation at cadences.

Bottom line: Diabolus in Musica has done some superb work in this area, and although their 2006 program is more polished in some ways, this recording easily remains more exciting.

To medieval sacred list

Todd M. McComb