Another solid, interesting Hilliard performance
M. J. Smith | Seattle, WA USA | 09/10/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The Hilliard Ensemble reliably provides a high quality performance; this album is no exception. This collection provides a variety of styles belonging to a rather narrow timeframe. Highlights include:"Sumer is icumen in" is well known both as music and as poetry. The version from about 1240 is a round - four voices for the round, two as drones. An absolutely delightful, boisterous number."Valde mane diluculo" is a 14th century motet, according to the liner notes a specifically English motet that features multiple voices on the same word(s)."Edi be thu" is a duet from the late 13th century with heavy use of thirds - this harmony creates a sound very familar to our ears.The three songs of St. Godric (died 1170) were given to him in dreams - not unlike the origin of many Shaker tunes. The first was given him by the Blessed Virgin Mary and Mary Magdalene, the second by two angels and the last he sang with St. Nicholas (aka Santa Claus)."Stond wel moder" is a 13th century crucifix lament, a sequence. This is not a chant, rather the music is written to the syllabic structure of the text. This album introduced me to the genre - one I know wish to explore.The remaining tracks are as varied. For a historical overview of English music of this period this cd is without equal."