COMPOSERS: Cordier,de Senleches,Dufay,Fontaine,Morton,Vide
LABELS: Ensemble Music Label
ALBUM TITLE: Collection: Bold, Fearless & Rash
WORKS: Works by Vide, de Senleches, Dufay, Cordier, Morton, Fontaine,
CATALOGUE NO: EML 007 DDD (distr. Kingdom)
Sirinu first came under the spotlight with their splendid project The Jewel of Potosi, in which they juxtaposed Hispanic art and traditional music. Here, adopting the same principle, they turn to the lavish Burgundian Court during the reigns of the CD’s eponymous dukes, Philip the Bold, John the Fearless and Charles the Rash. Alongside chansons by some of the court’s finest composers, they recreate with conviction and verve the sort of music that would have been played by resident minstrels.
Each member of the ensemble not only plays several instruments but sings as well (with mixed success), and inevitably there are occasional flaws in ensemble and tuning. But the vigorous grain and character of these performances make up for any lack of polish. Particularly lovely is their performance of La harpe de mélodie, surely one of the most beguiling of all medieval songs.
Two members of Sirinu, Sara Stowe and Matthew Spring, have also put their distinctive stamp on a new recording of French Baroque pastoral music. Their aptly named ensemble, Folies Bergères, performs court and peasant music for musette and vielle and their folk equivalents, the bagpipes and hurdy-gurdy, all with tremendous joie de vivre, although the drone instruments pall after a while. Kate Bolton