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26 June, 2013

Magister Leoninus (Léonin)
Recommended Recordings



Magister Leoninus
(Cappella Amsterdam, Red Byrd )


Music of the Middle Ages Vol 2 - Notre Dame Organa
(Charles Bressler, Russell Oberlin, et al. )


The Age of Cathedrals
(Alan Bennett, Paul Elliott, et al; Theatre of Voices; Paul Hillier, conductor)
In the late 12th century, the city of Paris, with its university and cathedral, was unequaled as a center of music and learning. The musical innovations achieved at Notre Dame and the abbey of St. Martial laid the groundwork for many important developments in music, including polyphony, rhythmic notation, and metrical organization of melody. This recording features 16 works from this period, by both known composers at Notre Dame--Leonin and Perotin--and unknown ones working in monastic anonymity at St. Martial. Although relatively austere and harmonically limited, these revolutionary pieces-- inspired in part by the majesty of the new cathedral buildings built during the 12th century--have an incredible range of emotion, from passionate declamations to intensely moving florid lines. The performances by Paul Hillier and his superb singers are resonant, warm, dynamic, and rhythmically exciting, recorded with spacious sound that preserves the detail of the vocal parts. (review by David Vernier)

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