Friday, November 10, 2017

Caron, Firminus. (c.1440-after 1480) Twilight of the Middle Ages.

New acquisition.
Date of purchase: November 2017.
First listen: 9-11-2017.
Label: DHM.
Recording dates: July 2015.
Venue: Eglise St. Martin, Tourinnes la Grosse, Belgium.
Sound engineer: Markus Heiland.
Time: 54:39.

Works on this CD:
Secular and religious.

Performed by:
Huelgas Ensemble, Paul van Nevel.

This Franco-Flemish polyphonist  is a remarkable composer whose life is shrouded in mystery. Neither known or famous. Yet François Joseph Fétis (1784-1871) wrote:  "Caron is superior to Ockeghem and Busnois". That is quite a statement, but for me he is on level with them, but certainly not better. Caron deserves to be on the same height, so much is clear to me, after listening to his music. His technique is remarkable, with an outstanding talent for polyphonic lines, and for adding colour to it all. This music envelops you in a warm embrace, with a clear picture of words and meaning, in a secular as religious sense. Highly ornamented with a good structure to it. His melodies are refreshing and innovative. It all radiates a pure spirit of the late Gothic period.
The Huelgas ensemble has a perfect diction, and as a choir is well balanced. The voices melt together as one body and this increases the effect of the music enormously. But I found the performance distanced and a bit cold, not matter of fact mind! I missed a certain involvement in which emotions have a place of warmth. To me it sounded technical, be it without fault.
It is however a worthwhile addition to my collection, of this I am convinced.
The recording is superb.


Bach, Johann Sebastian.(1685-1750) The Complete Organ Works. CD III. The Foccroulle edition.

New acquisition. Date of purchase: 2017. First listen: 19-2-2018. Label: Ricercar. Recording dates: May 1996. Venue: Blasii Kirche in Z...