Thursday, January 12, 2017

Machaut, de Guillaume. (c.1300-1370) Messe de Nostre Dame.

From my collection.
New release 2016.
Bought in April 2016.
First listen: 27-4-2016.
Second listen: 19-7-2016
Third listen: 20-9-2016.
Fourth listen: 12-1-2017.
Label: Glossa.
Recording dates: March 2015.
Recording venue: Augustine's Church, Antwerp, Belgium.
Recording engineer: Alexandre Fostier.
Running time: 72:50.
Classical relevance: Reference recording.

Works performed:
See heading.

Performed by:
Graindelavoix, Bjorn Schmelzer.

Well well, if you want to be challenged by this familiar work by Machaut, this would be the recording to do so.
In this interpretation Schmelzer is putting all his creativity into the moulding of all the individual voices, every singer is an entity in itself, and has a distinct soloistic imprint.  Artistically this is very impressive, and for me this recording is immediately promoted to a first place among my other interpretations. The focus on individual voices gives a swing to the music, and that works just fine, with many Byzantine influences, it's almost as I hear parts of the Greek Orthodox liturgy. All the singers are at the top of their trade. This is not a easy way of singing, for Schmelzer is searching for individuality in the voices which for him is above homogene ensemble singing. That they all pull it off in such a perfect way is a small miracle indeed. It brings you much closer to the heart of Machaut's music. Thus a reference recording and very much recommended.
The sound is excellent.



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