Du Mont, FrŽmart

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5.0 out of 5 star rating 5.0

COMPOSERS: Du Mont,Frémart
WORKS: Motets,
PERFORMER: Ensemble Dumont/Peter Bennett
The Ensemble Dumont follows up its excellent debut disc of Litanies by the composer who has lent his name to the group with another selection of pieces cast in a liturgical sequence appropriate to mid-17th-century Bourbon worship. Also included is a High Mass by Henri Frémart in the polyphonic style current in the earlier part of the century. Henry Du Mont was a Flemish composer who was attracted to Paris and Louis XIV’s court, where he held a number of important posts between 1660 and 1683. The component parts of the Low Mass featured here are an introductory Prelude for viols, a grand motet for voices and instruments, a petit motet for solo soprano and viols and two brief, small-scale movements. Throughout, the Ensemble has opted for a one-voice-to-a-part approach rather than one requiring vocal and instrumental reinforcement. Dumont’s grands motets set a standard pattern for almost all later French composers and it is not difficult to understand why. This is beautifully crafted, often poignantly affecting music which is performed with gracefulness and sensibility by artists who are ever alert to the subtlest of inflective nuances. The Frémart Mass, with its stronger contrapuntal axis and five solo organ interpolations, is a pleasing rarity, excellently sung and well worth a detour. But it is above all the Du Mont that I shall be listening to many times over. Nicholas Anderson