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Music For Henry V And The House Of Lancaster / Andrew Kirkman, Binchois Consort

Binchois Consort / Kirkman
Release Date: 09/13/2011 
Label:  Hyperion   Catalog #: 67868   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  King V HenryAnonymousLeonel Power?Thomas Damett,   ... 
Conductor:  Andrew Kirkman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Binchois Consort
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 13 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews



MUSIC FOR HENRY V AND THE HOUSE OF LANCASTER: The English Cyclic Mass Quem Malignus Spiritus and Ceremonial Motets for 15th-Century Princely Chapels Andrew Kirkman, cond; Binchois Consort HYPERION CDA67868 (72:47 Text and Translation)


Music by ANON, “ROY HENRY,” POWER, DAMETT, COOKE, STURGEON, FRYE


A few issues back I reviewed a new release by Stimmwerck devoted to the St. Emmeram Mensural Codex (Aeolus 10023), part of the Read more celebrations surrounding a symposium on the manuscript that is currently held at the Bavarian State Library. This disc takes its start from similar recent events surrounding the Wollaton Antiphonal, compiled for the extremely wealthy and zealously Lancastrian Sir Thomas Chaworth in the first half of the 15th century. Numerous selections were added from the Old Hall Manuscript, as it is now known, to provide a greater range of sacred music particular to the chapels of Henry V and Henry VI. The result is an overview of several sacred musical styles fostered by the Lancasterian princes during the early 15th century, shortly before the pan-consonant approach often associated with Dunstable became more common.


The Missa Quem malignus spiritus is based on a responsory chant (also included on the disc) that the Wollaton Antiphonal preserves from the Bridlington Office. The anonymous three-voiced Mass supplies the virtues of clarity, inventive imitation, and clever rhythmic interplay between its two upper parts. Interspersed around its movements is a fascinating variety of roughly contemporaneous material. There’s the polished Ave regina caelorum a 4 by Walter Frye—possibly a contrafactum, derived from a now-lost secular ballade—and the chant Asperges me , with faburden (second voice a fifth below the plainchant) applied to excellent effect. John Cooke’s combinative motet Alma proles/Christi miles sings across the ages with its vigor—presumably celebrating one of Henry V’s military victories—while the Gloria by “Roy Henry,” who was Henry IV, Henry V, or someone else, is competent in its handling of textures. Pride of place, though, must be given to two four-voiced motets by Leonel Power, displaying his typically rich triadic approach, a lack of concern with standard mensuration, and asymmetrical phrasing. The effervescent Ave regina caelorum with its English discant style is probably the earlier of the two, as it demonstrates a level of dissonance between voices that was toned down in his later work. Both pieces are inordinately inventive, and as is often the case with extremely fine music, seems to pack more content into a short duration than logically should fit.


The performances are typical of the six-voiced Binchois Consort: perfect intonation, great clarity between the parts, excellent enunciation, and a more full-blooded exuberance (where required) in this music than is standard in some other British early-music vocal ensembles. Andrew Kirkman’s ear for phrasing and blend is everywhere evident. The venue is perfect, possessing just enough churchly reverberation to let the voices bloom, with none of the cavernous effect that exaggerates lower frequencies and dulls the boundaries between vocal lines. In short, highly recommended.


FANFARE: Barry Brenesal
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Works on This Recording

1.
Gloria by King V Henry
Conductor:  Andrew Kirkman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Binchois Consort
Period: Renaissance 
Written: England 
2.
The Office for St John of Bridlington by Anonymous
Conductor:  Andrew Kirkman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Binchois Consort
3.
Asperges me by Anonymous
Conductor:  Andrew Kirkman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Binchois Consort
4.
Missa Quem malignus spiritus by Anonymous
Conductor:  Andrew Kirkman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Binchois Consort
5.
Ave regina caelorum by Anonymous
Conductor:  Andrew Kirkman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Binchois Consort
Period: Medieval 
6.
Ave regina coelorum by Leonel Power
Conductor:  Andrew Kirkman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Binchois Consort
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 15th Century; England 
7.
Gloriosae virginis by Anonymous
Conductor:  Andrew Kirkman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Binchois Consort
8.
Gloriosae virginis by Leonel Power
Conductor:  Andrew Kirkman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Binchois Consort
9.
Salvatoris mater / O Georgi Deo care by ?Thomas Damett
Conductor:  Andrew Kirkman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Binchois Consort
10.
Alma proles / Christi miles by John Cooke
Conductor:  Andrew Kirkman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Binchois Consort
11.
Salve mater Domini / Salve templum gratie by Nicholas Sturgeon
Conductor:  Andrew Kirkman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Binchois Consort
12.
Ite missa est by Anonymous
Conductor:  Andrew Kirkman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Binchois Consort
Period: Medieval 
13.
Tota pulchra es by Anonymous
Conductor:  Andrew Kirkman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Binchois Consort
Period: Medieval 
14.
Ave regina celorum by Walter Frye
Conductor:  Andrew Kirkman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Binchois Consort
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 15th Century; England 

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