Orlando Consort, Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir, cond Paul Hillier Harmonia Mundi HMU 807469
This fascinating disc spans the centuries by coupling medieval masterworks with modern works inspired by them. The four male voices of the Orlando Consort bring vigour and tonal variety to Machaut’s Messe de Notre Dame, and its tenor Mark Dobell gives a lilting account of the composer’s song Douce dame jolie. Tarik O’Regan’s Virelai on the same tune then makes playful, contrapuntal use of its melodies.
His Scattered Rhymes, inspired by the Mass, pairs the Consort in medieval English poetry with Paul Hillier’s choir in texts by Petrarch: a vivid meditation on earthly and divine love.
The Consort’s perceptive accounts of Du Fay’s Ave Regina celorum and Gavin Bryars’s Super flumina complete the picture.