Unrequited: Music of Guillaume de Machaut[CD]
~ Liber unUsualis
Early Music (UK) August 2005 'Machaut is performed with an elegance and an intensity that transmit perfectly the combination of exquisite poise and ruthless power...Partly this has to do with the singers' outstanding blend and tuning, partly with their understanding of Machaut's long-term architectural planning, and partly with their sensitivity to the words.' Gramophone (UK) May 2004 'This disc might have been titled 'Machaut the Sensualist', for that's the way the singers of Liber unUsualis approach this 14th-century master's music. It's not so much the Boston-based a cappella trio's rich tone that creates this impression as the care with which they unfold the music's extensive and often intricately coiled melodic tendrils. The effect is deeply expressive.... Liber unUsualis imbue this music with...nobility and grace. The effect is ravishing.... A most impressive recording.' Fanfare May/June 2004 'This is a superb rendition of 12 pieces by Guillaume de Machaut and his circle, using exactly as many voices as needed without any instruments at all. One ballade, J'aim miex languir, receives it's first recording, a cause for rejoicing, given this level of accomplishment.... The familiar double ballade of Andrieu in memory of Machaut receives it's best recording since Ensemble P.A.N.'s of 15 years ago, improving on that excellent version by omitting it's vielle and lute. Some of the remaining pieces are a distinct improvement over anything previously recorded.... The motets as a group are generally superior to anything heard in the past.... This disc has at least four unimpeachable reasons to acquire it, along with uniformly superior performances on the rest of the disc.... They have paid attention to all the current issues in performance practice, including Pythagorean tuning, linear voicing, period-specific pronunciation, and handling untexted melodic lines sensibly. Things don't get much better than this, as far as records go.' Goldberg Magazine (Spain) February 2004 'They do justice to their name. They take risks with this repertoire.... The intonation and union are perfect in this group.... The ductility [flexibility] of the two female voices was reminiscent of the intonation and precision of the members of Anonimus 4.... A perfect balance.'
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