The very brief flowering of the frottola genre shows several points of interest, and connects with many currents in later Italian vocal music. Cara is clearly one of the more talented songwriters of the early 16th century, and I continue to enjoy his songs in particular. Although I don't necessarily pursue this genre and its later development into the "new monody" I do value a program of it, both for comparison with other contemporary styles and for several of the songs themselves. They combine some of the same melodic motion I admire in early 16th century songs in general with a nice clarity of texture.
This is the best frottola program available, and also the most richly nuanced performance. Articulation and phrasing are excellent, as is instrumental technique. At some times, I feel that the songs are orchestrated a little too heavily, although this does bring out some of the subtleties well. Although this is a slight drawback, the fine diction and pacing more than balance it, making for a superb overall recital.
To renaissance secular listTodd M. McComb