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CD Review

Antoine Busnois

  • Antoine Busnois:
  • Missa L'Homme armé
  • Anima mea liquefacta est
  • Gaude celestis domina
  • Petrus de Domarto: Missa Spiritus almus
  • Jean Pullois: Flos de spina
The Binchois Consort/Andrew Kirkman
Hyperion CDA67319 79m DDD
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These are among the most beautiful and revered pieces of scared music hailing from Renaissance times. The figures of Busnois and De Domarto loom large in Flemish musical language comparable with those of Dufay, Faryfax, Weelkes, Tallis and the great John Dowland. This is a world of intense contrapuntal beauty matched by an intrinsic mysticism that penetrates deeply into the heart and soul of the listener.

I was almost metaphorically soaring whilst listening to the concluding parts of the 'Missa L'Homme Armé', a blissful explosion of contrapuntal mastery that is surely a transcendental piece of seminal musical literature. This equivocal burst of praise is not to detract anything from de Domarto's similarly ebullient and forward looking 'Missa Spiritus almus' which is also sung with sprightly weightiness by the Binchois Consort.

The accompanying motets, although short are no less brilliant in their economical use of forces to create the maximum effect. Kirkman's direction is never short of enthusiasm and technical competence with the Binchois Consort proving very able interpreters all around. Heartily recommended to all lovers of this genre.

Copyright © 2002, Gerald Fenech