13 Feb 2022

The Florentine Renaissance

The Florentine Renaissance
Orlando Consort
Hyperion CDA68349

On this new album The Orlando Consort collaborate with musicologist Professor Patrick Macey on works by Dufay and Florentine music under Lorenzo de’ Medici including several premiere recordings.

The programme opens auspiciously with Dufay's motet Nuper rosarum flores (Garlands of roses) which can be seen both as a last great gasp for medieval isorythm, traceable back to Machaut, and also the apex of that tradition. Either way it's a grand and complex knot of symbolism honouring Pope Eugene and the dedication of Florence cathedral. Compared with Pomerium's recording (reviewed 10/97) which used a broader, choral approach or The Huelgas ensemble's (HMC 901700) instrumental support, the four solo voices of The Orlando Consort bring a brisk clarity to the textures, but the two interlocking plainchant voices fail to underpin the motet superstructure with the steady sonorities of choral singers or the grandiosity of sackbutts. The result is a beautiful, intimate performance which feels too delicate for the weight of symbolism it carries.


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