Le Miroir de Musique perform Arnold & Hugo de Lantins

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4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0

COMPOSERS: Arnold de Lantins,Hugo de Lantins
LABELS: Ricercar
ALBUM TITLE: Arnold & Hugo de Lantins
WORKS: Secular works
PERFORMER: Le Miroir de Musique/Baptiste Romain
CATALOGUE NO: Ricercar RIC 365

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This seems to be the first disc devoted to secular works by these two musicians, active in North Italy in the 1420s. (There’s a Ricercar CD of sacred music by Arnold.) The instrumental performances include an energetic basse dance with sparkling vielles (Amor servir), a clamorous ensemble of bagpipes (Chanter ne scay), and a playful display of woodwind embellishments (in Mirar no posso). The vocal pieces are performed equally well with some arresting imitative singing in Celsa sublimatur, calm beauty in Tota pulchra es (though the insistence on B naturals rather than musica ficta B flats adds an unusual quality), and extraordinary fluency in the complex cross-rhythms of Je suy extent. Most enticing are the smooth melodies of Plaindre m’esteut, an apparently conventional love song about a man abandoned by his lady, except that the first letters of each line together spell out the savage rebuke ‘Putain de merde!’.

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Anthony Pryer