Perceval - The Quest For The Grail Vol 1 / La Nef

Release Date: 8/17/1999
Label: Dorian
Catalog Number: DOR-90271
Performer: Daniel Taylor
Orchestra/Ensemble: La Nef
Number of Discs: 1

Physical Format:

CD
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Anyone familiar with La Nef's other recordings knows that this group is very hard to categorize. Its repertoire tends to be focused on medieval sources and its instruments come from that same period, but the group's aim is to give its programs a kind of modern flavor by revising and reworking ancient tunes and texts, occasionally composing original material, adding elements of drama, and organizing it all together into a cohesive theatrical presentation that centers on a theme or story. In this case, we are treated to one of the earliest known stories of the quest for the Holy Grail. The text, by 12th-century writer Chr├ętien de Troyes, was adapted by La Nef and set to various authentic tunes (and a few newly composed ones), performed with engaging style and with a real sense of dramatic flow. You should know that this recording is only Part One of the story, in which we learn of Perceval, his early life in the forest, his abandonment of his mother in order to join King Arthur's knights, and details of several of his early exploits. The music includes many beautiful melodies--some sung by the excellent countertenor Daniel Taylor, who plays Perceval--and first rate instrumental playing, especially by Sylvain Bergeron, a master of various plucked stringed instruments, who here performs on an "early guitar". Part Two is next, in which we follow our hero to the castle of the Grail, where he meets the Fisher King, the Young Maid, the Hideous Damsel, and the Hermit. Stay tuned.

--David Vernier, ClassicsToday.com
Works on This Recording
1. Perceval: la quête du Graal (The Quest for the Grail): Part 1 by Sylvain Bergeron
Performer: Daniel Taylor
Orchestra/Ensemble: La Nef
Period: Contemporary
Customer Reviews