Collection: The Old Hall Manuscript

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COMPOSERS: Bittering,Cooke,Damett,Forest,Mayshuet,Oliver,Pennard
LABELS: Virgin Veritas
WORKS: English music c1410-15 by Bittering, Cooke, Damett, Forest, Mayshuet, Oliver, Pennard,
PERFORMER: Hilliard Ensemble
CATALOGUE NO: VER 5 61393 2 1991

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This source, now in the British Library, contains music mostly from the courts of Henry V and his brothers. The Hilliard Ensemble show us the great variety of this repertory: they are poised but determined in the hectic clashes of Pennard’s Credo; restrained but intense in the exotic harmonies of the anonymous Sanctus; sweetly flowing in Forest’s ‘Ascendit Christus’ and rumbustious in Mayshuet’s jokey ‘Are post libamina’. Only Bittering’s marvellous ‘En Katerina’ disappoints; its electric rhythms, switched off in the slow performance here, can be heard to full effect in Gothic Voices’ The Spirits of England and France, Vol. 3 (Hyperion). Anthony Pryer