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No recordings are more eagerly awaited by enthusiasts of medieval music than new projects by Christopher Page and Gothic Voices. Eleven discs have appeared to date: one devoted entirely to Hildegard of Bingen, and another ten that cover a diverse repertory spanning some 300 years, from the secular monophony of the trouveres to chansons of the last quarter of the 15th century. These recordings are consistently of the highest quality, and put into practice the most advanced and solidly grounded views of performance practice at the time of recording, many of these views based on the research of Page himself. Gothic Voices should be the first choice for connoisseur, student, or scholar, whether one is seeking a generic example of a style or a specific work.
Since it has already become impossible to keep track of the enormous quantity of useful material on these recordings (for example, works of Dufay figure in four different projects), the most useful thing a reviewer can contribute at this point is an index of the ten anthology recordings. The table following this review provides such an index, organized by genre and composer, with reference to an edition of each work.
The three latest offerings present works of the mid-14th to the mid-15th centuries, a very attractive programme of sacred and secular, French and English music. In Lancaster and Valois, for instance, one can find a miniature survey of styles of English music of the Old Hall period: two score pieces with cantus firmus in the tenor (a …