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Dufay: Chansons / Tetraktys

Jill Feldman (soprano), Maria Christina Cleary (harp), Jane Achtman (viol) & Kees Boeke (recorders & viol)

Olive Music OVE 5 [59 mins]


A new release by Tetraktys on Olive lifts the heart.*

The purity of Jill Feldman's soprano is magical and Dufay (c.1400-1474) is perhaps the greatest melodist of the period.

This sequence rings the changes with instrumental versions punctuating the songs. The general feeling is of great calm, backed by scholarship and performing excellence.

Peter Grahame Woolf

*This group's hour of experimental 14 C music, given in the Elzenveld chapel, was for us the high spot of the whole Polifonia Italiana Festival (Antwerp, August 2004). It was devoted to Italian successors of Guillaume de Machault, Tuscan composers of the "Trecento" who wrote complex music in a spirit of avant-garde. - - Suffice it to say here that Jill Feldman sang with exquisite sensibility and beauty of tone. This text-driven music proved captivating, indeed revelatory, even without being able to understand more than an occasional word. The recital, which has been recorded for release next year, made it irresistible to acquire her CD of duets with Kees Boeke by Matteo da Perugia, Johannes Ciconia and others, which is supplied with fascinating notes and explanations and all the texts in several languages.

Whereas three-part writing became the norm in France, in Italy two part writing retained an important position and is recorded on Olive OM 002 in its pure form, without any 'fanciful but historically unfounded' completing parts. Do explore their website, its ingenious address hinting at their non-musical activities, which include production of wine and olive oil in Tuscany (www.o-livemusic.com)! You will even discover that Kees Boeke is no mean avant-garde composer of music for recorders and electronics; his Monographia (Ensemble Duix Olive OM 001) is verily ground breaking and made refreshing listening after a day of music from 500 and more years earlier.