Guillaume de MACHAUT. Fortune's Child — Orlando Consort



[10.5.2018] Remarks

Todd M. McComb, 7 May 2018

The Orlando Consort Machaut Edition continues with Fortune's Child, which is the fifth issue. I don't have too much to say about this disc individually, and have yet to really rework my "personal entry" on the series.... (A crude count of Machaut's works suggests that they are not quite half done at this point. So there is much more to come.)

Certainly it retains a stark quality in keeping with the English all-vocal interpretation. (The starkness can be an asset at times, but I also find myself sometimes wishing for more richness of timbre and/or ornament.) The precision & attention to detail remain welcome, as is the ongoing facility, which can only increase as the project continues....

There's also the issue of the recorded sound, which they've been balancing better. Still, I have to wonder why the insistence on such a resonant acoustic, and indeed on recording in a church? It doesn't make a lot of sense to me, and seems to be about making some sort of statement outside of the music. (And I suppose that since I'm hearing the CD version, it's entirely possible that the higher bandwidth digital versions that Hyperion is offering online render the sound quality an unmitigated asset. I don't know about that, but my question applies nonetheless.) Anyway, I'm continuing to appreciate the series, and wanted to note the latest release here.