Beauty Farm founded 2014 by Markus Muntean and Bernhard Trebuch is a vocal group focused to the Franco-Flemish polyphony of the renaissance. The international ensemble is based in the carthusian monastery at Mauerbach (Austria). The singers are members of well known ensembles. Beauty Farm exclusively records for frabernardo. Going back to the roots Beauty Farms reveals the secrets of polyphonic masterpieces …
If Ockeghem's Missa L'Homme Armé was the earliest such to be composed, then perhaps it is not easy to understand why Dufay, Busnois, Caron and others may have been inspired to create their own mass using the tune as the cantus firmus. Ockeghem's work seems under-ambitious by comparison, almost simplistic - the cantus firmus remains easily recognisable, retaining the original rhythm, not stretched out to unfathomable lengths, nor excessively ornamented and buried under immense counterpoint - it's as though he wanted the tune to come to the fore. In the light of this, it seems odd in a way that the ensemble The Sound and the Fury have chosen to retain the L'Homme Armé lyrics in the tenor part at certain points of this performance, a practice not to my purist taste.
England's Orlando Consort, a quartet of male singers augmented as needed by other performers, offers performances of Renaissance vocal music that lie midway between the traditional and the highly individualized modern. Sometimes they veer toward one of those two extremes, but often, as on the present disc, they find a happy medium. Their sound, especially in sacred music, owes much to the English cathedral tradition, but there's a well-honed edge to their one-voice-to-a-part interpretations that brings out the crowds who've recently been drawn to early music. This disc is intended as an introduction to a composer who doesn't always offer easy listening to the modern ear. Netherlander Antoine Busnois, active at the end of the fifteenth century and considered the greatest figure between Dufay and Josquin, wrote music that broke free from elaborate medieval numerology but came in advance of Josquin's perfect marriage of music and text.
Dominique Visse and his group Ensemble Clément Janequin have been involved in many outstanding projects over the years, but this 2002 Harmonia Mundi recording has to be one of the most spectacular; the Missa "Et ecce terrae motus" (aka, "The Earthquake Mass") of Antoine Brumel. Brumel is one of many mid-renaissance composers whose reputations are so far overshadowed by Josquin Desprez that – like Rodney Dangerfield – they "just don't get no respect." In Brumel's own time, however, he was considered one of Josquin's equals and his death in 1512 was widely observed in a number of "déplorations." Although the mass itself survives in only a single manuscript copy, it bears the signatures of singers who revived the work in Munich in 1570 – probably close to a century after it was first given – and among them is a bass named Orlandus Lassus.
The research by Stefano Battaglia and that of Michele Rabbia share training ( classical for both) , the sensual attraction for jazz , a love of classical music of the ' 900 , which extend in particular to two of the big issues which moves the musical evolution : I'm referring to the world of sound , the quest for its expansion and the theme of improvisation.
Gramophone Record of the Year-winning group The Cardinall’s Musick continues its exploration of Tallis’s sacred music. These recordings not only showcase the greatest repertoire of the English Renaissance in dazzling performances, but also illustrate the complex historical and political background of the works and their genesis.