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Clerks' Group
Guillaume de Machaut and Music from the Ivrea Codex

Song NameComposer
Sanctus: Sanans fragiliaAnon/Ivrea
Gloria: Et versus homoAnon/Ivrea
Dame/Fins cuers doulzGuillaume de Machaut
Trop plus est bele/Biayte paree de valourGuillaume de Machaut
Lasse!/Se j'aim mon loyal amiGuillaume de Machaut
Tu qui gregem/Plange, regni respublicaGuillaume de Machaut
Christe qui lux/Veni creator spiritusGuillaume de Machaut
Felix virgo/Inviolata genitrixGuillaume de Machaut
Amours/Faus samblantGuillaume de Machaut
Post missarum sollempnia/Postmisse modulaminaAnon/Ivrea
Clap, clap / Sus RobinAnon/Ivrea
Qui es promesse / Ha! FortuneGuillaume de Machaut
Martyrum / Diligenter inquiramusGuillaume de Machaut

Directed by Edward Wickham

The Clerks' Group is a highly sophisticated ensemble of young singers whose immaculately polished performances show Machaut's extraordinary lyrical gift - even in the genre of the motet, so often thought of as abstract and unapproachable. Edward Wickham clearly views Machaut as a medieval romantic, drawing out the finely wrought lines and wallowing in the luscious sonorities of his music; and the effect is enhanced by a resonant acoustic, though the recorded sound is somewhat over-glossy. Each singer has a naturally light, straight-toned voice and can effortlessly flat over the vocal lines like 'a feather on the breath of God'. The highlights of this disc are three motets by Machaut based on love songs in performances which sound every bit as poetic and expressive as 18th-century Lieder; and the rapturous Marian motet Felix virgo / Inviolata genitrix, in which the group's intimately veiled sound is especially apt. Alongside the Machaut works are a handful of anonymous motets from the Ivrea Codex, a major 14th-century source containing some fine compositions, if never quite matching Machaut's genius. With the caveat that a few motets go a long way, this is a truly haunting collection.

Item code: 7852C | 1 CD | $14.98 add item to cart
Early Music | A Cappella | Mixed | England

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