Machaut - Sovereign Beauty | Hyperion CDA68134

Machaut - Sovereign Beauty


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Label: Hyperion

Cat No: CDA68134

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 1

Genre: Vocal/Choral

Release Date: 30th June 2017



The latest instalment in a series which continues to garner the highest critical plaudits. The Orlando Consort bring their customary virtues of ‘supreme text-sensitivity and beauty of tone’ (Early Music Today) to another recital showcasing the breadth of Machaut’s musical and poetic inventiveness.

‘A very impressive recital’ - Gramophone (CDA68103: A Burning Heart)

‘An approach that is attractive, suave and measured’ - BBC Music Magazine (CDA68103: A Burning Heart)

‘The artistic merits of The Orlando Consort are legendary, and these four male singers deliver performances of great beauty and expressiveness… full of elegant fluency, verve, and nuanced inflection’ - American Record Guide (CDA68008: The Dart of Love)


I’ve hardly been stinting in my praise of the previous instalments of this series, but this is finer still. The lovely three-part virelai Tres bonne et belle teems with incident, the interplay of the voices a constant delight. More surprising are the melodic coups de théâtre of the two-voice ballades Dame ne regardés pas and De desconfort, the latter reminiscent of Binchois (and incidentally, wouldn’t an Orlandos disc devoted to that other great poet-composer be welcome!). The centrepieces are the fastidiously crafted ballade Se quanque Amours (reminiscent of Solage) and the two-voice Lay de consolation, a wonderfully judged postscript. Throw in a couple of motets and a few monophonic virelais (a genre which The Orlandos have down to a tee), and you have Machaut at his most engaging and varied; but this really is one bullseye after another. ... if I hear a finer recording of 14th-century music this year I’ll be very surprised.  Fabrice Fitch
Gramophone July 2017
Gramophone Editor's Choice

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