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The Feast of Fools
Michael George, Robert Evans, Stephen Charlesworth
The Feast of Fools
Genres: Special Interest, Classical


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CD Details

All Artists: Michael George, Robert Evans, Stephen Charlesworth, Anonymous, Philip Pickett, New London Consort, Catherine Bott, Catherine King, Tessa Bonner, John Mark Ainsley
Title: The Feast of Fools
Members Wishing: 1
Total Copies: 0
Label: Decca Import
Release Date: 11/18/2008
Album Type: Import
Genres: Special Interest, Classical
Style: Symphonies
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 028947800286

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CD Reviews

A voice teacher and early music fan
George Peabody | Planet Earth | 06/30/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)


The Medieval Feast of Fools was held between Christmas and Epiphany, particularly on New Years Day, the Feast of the Circumcision. The chief location of the festivities was the church, itself, and the principal organizers were the subdeacons or lower clergy.

The ruling idea of the Feast was the inversion of status and performance of the inferior clergy of functions normally carried out by their betters. The celebrations were relics of the ancient ceremonies of renewal and rebirth which took place at New Years and involved the temporary overturning of all values. The Feast was widely celebrated in cathedrals and collegiate churches in France, and rather less in Flanders, England, Germany and Bohemia.

The Feast was celebrated in many different ways. This recording of parts of a typical Feast of Fools is based on two medieval Masses containing chants 'proper' to the Mass.

The music is performed on this disc by six very skilled soloists: C.Bott, T.Bonner (sopranos)- J.M.Ainsey(tenor)-M. George, S. Charlesworth (baritones) and S. Grant (bass). There is a small chorus who does a fabulous job of changing their vocal tone qualities to suit the many different 'moods' of the varied selections: some outright imitation of the soloist, some VERY serious and some quite HUMOROUS.

The New London Consort with it's period instruments create the perfect accompaniment (when needed) for these renditions. I am compelled to say that although this is very well done under Pickett's direction, I find it personally somewhat offensive to hear; only because it is making a mockery of the religious ceremonies of a church. BUT having said this, it's really quite entertaining and I DO listen to it from time to time. If you like EARLY MUSIC, this is worth the listenng."