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Nox Lux - France & Angleterre 1200-1300 / La Reverdie


Release Date: 05/21/2009 
Label:  Arcana   Catalog #: 307   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Doron SherwinWipo von BurgundPérotinClaudia Caffagni,   ... 
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble La Reverdie
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 3 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

A pleasing and very subtle musical evocation of the age-old struggle between life and death.

It is no easy task to find a suitable category in which to place this recording. La Reverdie ('Springtime'? 'Green again'?) is a not-quite-all-female group (five women, one man) all of whom sing and play a programme of 13th-century motets with one chant (the Easter sequence Victimae paschali loutes), a handful of 14th- and 15th-century songs, and three of their own instrumental compositions. The sequence provides the clue to the whole programme: 'Mors et vita duello', the struggle between life and death, light and shade, night and day. We are given full texts and translations but no liner notes as such: only a
Read more miscellany of pseudo-philosophical musings, ranging from the Bible (Genesis, Revelation), through Tertullian, Hildegard of Bingen and Robert Grosseteste, to a selection of modern writers, all these extracts suggesting that medieval Europe was obsessed with Maniclieism.

Surprisingly, the struggle between good and evil is played out in the gentlest way, using mezzo-soprano textures and softly tinkling instruments. Rarely does the volume rise above nip. Once Nox has initially established itself, and the theme has been announced in the sequence by a clean, firm soprano line, we can sit back and enjoy what follows and hardly notice when victory occurs and Lax triumphs. Sherwin's finale is based on a cantus firmus structure, using the repetition in slow equal notes of the first phrases of the sequence, a pleasing interplay of bells, recorder and muted cornet.

-- Mary Berry, Gramophone [9/2001]
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Works on This Recording

1. Nox by Doron Sherwin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble La Reverdie
2. Victimæ pascali laudes by Wipo von Burgund
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble La Reverdie
3. Mors by Pérotin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble La Reverdie
Period: Medieval 
Written: 13th Century; Paris, France 
4. Occasum by Claudia Caffagni
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble La Reverdie
5. Pange melos lacrimosum by Anonymous
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble La Reverdie
Period: Medieval 
Written: by 1400; France 
6. Balaam inquit by Anonymous
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble La Reverdie
7. Iam nubes dissolvitur by Anonymous
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble La Reverdie
8. An doz mois de mai by Anonymous
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble La Reverdie
9. A la clarté qui tout enlumina by Anonymous
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble La Reverdie
10. Porta preminentie by Anonymous
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble La Reverdie
11. Miri it is hwile sumer ilasts by Anonymous
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble La Reverdie
12. Sancta mater gracie by Anonymous
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble La Reverdie
Period: Medieval 
Written: England 
13. Rosa fragrans by Anonymous
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble La Reverdie
14. Mors et vita duello by Elisabeth de Mircovich
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble La Reverdie
15. Caligo Terrae Scinditur by Anonymous
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble La Reverdie
Period: Medieval 
16. Anglia tibi turbidas spera lucem post tenebras by Anonymous
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble La Reverdie
17. Ich spür ain tier, K 37 by Oswald von Wolkenstein
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble La Reverdie
Period: Medieval 
Written: Germany 
18. Resvelons nous/Alons ent bien tos by Guillaume Dufay
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble La Reverdie
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 15th Century; France 
19. Lux by Doron Sherwin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble La Reverdie

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