LABELS: Archiv Codex
WORKS: Music from c1160-1400
PERFORMER: Early Music Consort of London/David Munrow
CATALOGUE NO: 453 185-2 ADD 1976
This whistle-stop tour of musical activity from the 12th to the 14th centuries takes in the austere organum of Léonin and Pérotin, the delightfully unexpected dissonances of Ars antiqua motets, and culminates in the intricate compositional structures of Philippe de Vitry and Guillaume de Machaut.
The journey remains consistently fascinating, even though a few more purely instrumental items might have provided some contrast in timbre. Ideas surrounding the interpretation of medieval music may have changed since this pioneering set first appeared in the mid-Seventies, but the performances still retain a compelling freshness of approach. Erik Levi