Author Topic: Guillaume de Machaut (c.1300-1377)  (Read 3705 times)

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Offline Mandryka

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Re: Guillaume de Machaut (c.1300-1377)
« Reply #20 on: December 19, 2016, 09:46:09 AM »
I find Machaut's chanson more attractive than the motets or mass. Rose Liz was my first favorite. Same feelings about Dufay. The secular music is less stodgy and baroque (not in the music-historical sense, in the original sense).

Yes, this idea is something that, by coincidence, has crossed my mind a lot for the masses at least.

With the Machaut mass I found a performance which is light and prayerful, and the same for a one commercial recoding of a Dufay mass. But it's a problem for me as it is for you - for Josquin too.

(Is Lay de la Fonteine a motet? Anyway it isn't secular as far as I know, and Thomas Binkley makes it sound pretty light I think. )
« Last Edit: December 19, 2016, 09:53:51 AM by Mandryka »
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Offline Mandryka

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Re: Guillaume de Machaut (c.1300-1377)
« Reply #21 on: December 23, 2016, 10:02:38 AM »
Seasonal music:


A Christmas mass that is constructed from music from the Papal Chapel in Avignon, home of the Papacy from 1309 to 1376.
The result is a combination of musical styles: that of the earlier Notre Dame School and the newer Ars Nova style.

Excellent performance by Diabolus in Musica back in 1999 for the tiny French label Studio FM, now run by ADF-Bayard Musique.

Q

Well I guess that mass suggests that either Machaut didn't invent the polyphonic sung mass, or that the style moved really rapidly from Paris to Avignon. It makes me think that all that talk about "strangeness" that you hear from Bjorn Schmelzer in the booklet of his Machaut CD is overstating the case. Thanks for pointing out this fascinating release.
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Offline sanantonio

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Re: Guillaume de Machaut (c.1300-1377)
« Reply #22 on: December 23, 2016, 12:18:55 PM »
Well I guess that mass suggests that either Machaut didn't invent the polyphonic sung mass, or that the style moved really rapidly from Paris to Avignon. It makes me think that all that talk about "strangeness" that you hear from Bjorn Schmelzer in the booklet of his Machaut CD is overstating the case. Thanks for pointing out this fascinating release.

There had been many examples of polyphonic masses, just not written by one composer until Machaut.  Prior to his Messe de Nostre Dame, the sections were stitched together from various sources.

Offline Mandryka

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Re: Guillaume de Machaut (c.1300-1377)
« Reply #23 on: December 23, 2016, 12:34:59 PM »
There had been many examples of polyphonic masses, just not written by one composer until Machaut.  Prior to his Messe de Nostre Dame, the sections were stitched together from various sources.

And is this because the incomplete masses have lost movements? I wonder if we have examples of say, two mass movements by one composer.
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Offline sanantonio

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Re: Guillaume de Machaut (c.1300-1377)
« Reply #24 on: December 23, 2016, 12:44:02 PM »
And is this because the incomplete masses have lost movements? I wonder if we have examples of say, two mass movements by one composer.

No. they just didn't write complete masses; just individual sections here and there.  The masses were functional not artistic expressions.  That is why Machaut's mass was a departure from custom.  I don't know the answer to your question, but many of the sections were anonymously written.
« Last Edit: December 23, 2016, 12:46:55 PM by sanantonio »

Offline sanantonio

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Re: Guillaume de Machaut (c.1300-1377)
« Reply #25 on: December 23, 2016, 01:01:45 PM »
No. they just didn't write complete masses; just individual sections here and there.  The masses were functional not artistic expressions.  That is why Machaut's mass was a departure from custom.  I don't know the answer to your question, but many of the sections were anonymously written.

Here's more from Grove:

There are three main sources for the French repertory (ed. in PMFC, xxiii). The Apt choirbook (F-APT 16bis) of around 1400 contains ten Kyries, nine Glorias, ten Credos, four Sanctus and one Agnus, of which 21 have text only in the upper voices. The slightly earlier manuscript I-IV 115 has four Kyries, nine Glorias, ten Credos, two Sanctus and two motets on Ite missa est; 15 of these are in motet style. The manuscript E-Bc 853c-d, containing five Kyries, one Gloria, three Credos and one Sanctus, is one of 12 Ars Nova manuscript fragments known from the old Kingdom of Aragon, which bordered on Avignon: between them they contain some 40 Mass Ordinary movements, of which 23 are in discant style. Small though the French Mass repertory may be, it is very widely disseminated, with several works appearing in ten or more sources, often in substantially different versions. Composers can be named for less than a third of the repertory, but at least five of them can be associated with the Avignon curia: Perrinet, Tailhandier, Tapissier, Sortes and Peliso.

Of the mass music by Italian composers (mainly Glorias, Credos and Sanctus settings, ed. in PMFC, xii) only about a quarter shows pure Italian style: the rest is heavily influenced by the French tradition. The main named composers are Philippus de Caserta, who worked in Avignon, and Antonio Zacara da Teramo and Matteo da Perugia, both connected with the papal curia in Bologna. In the entirely anonymous English repertory from the early 14th century (ed. in PMFC, xvi) Credo settings are particularly rare. Most of the music is in simple homophonic style and perhaps derives from the growing custom of singing Marian votive masses. Special to the English repertory is the survival of Mass Proper settings.

While the manuscripts normally grouped settings of a particular text together, there are some examples of apparent cyclic grouping, though never more than one such group in any single manuscript. The TOURNAI MASS (B-Tc 476, ed. in PMFC, i; also ed. J. Dumoulin and others, Tournai 1988), considered the earliest, has six Ordinary movements, of which the last is a motet in Ars Nova style, Se grasse/Ite, missa est/Cum venerint (known also from I-IV 115 and from the index of F-Pn n.a.fr.23190; the Credo has three further sources, two of them in earlier notation and of Spanish origin, and the Gloria has a further source in F-CA 1328 (n), no.2). Only the Kyrie, Sanctus and Agnus are unique, all in Franconian notation. There is no apparent musical connection between the six movements apart from their being all in three voices and all in simultaneous style apart from the concluding motet (which shares its tenor with a motet by Marchetto da Padova).

The four-voice Messe de Nostre Dame of Guillaume de Machaut, composed perhaps in the early 1360s for Reims Cathedral, is more unified and is important as the earliest such cycle conceived as a unit by a single composer. Machaut may have known some of the Tournai cycle, since his Gloria and Credo have similar textless musical interludes and share other features; they are in simultaneous style and end with a long melismatic Amen. The other four movements of Machaut’s mass are in the manner of motets, but all voices carry the same mass text. The tenor of the Kyrie is based on Vatican Kyrie IV; the Sanctus and Agnus correspond to Vatican Mass XVII; and the Ite is on Sanctus VIII. The Gloria and Credo have no apparent chant basis, though they are stylistically related to one another.
« Last Edit: December 23, 2016, 01:10:13 PM by sanantonio »

Offline Mandryka

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Re: Guillaume de Machaut (c.1300-1377)
« Reply #26 on: December 23, 2016, 01:44:15 PM »
Here's more from Grove:

There are three main sources for the French repertory (ed. in PMFC, xxiii). The Apt choirbook (F-APT 16bis) of around 1400 contains ten Kyries, nine Glorias, ten Credos, four Sanctus and one Agnus, of which 21 have text only in the upper voices. The slightly earlier manuscript I-IV 115 has four Kyries, nine Glorias, ten Credos, two Sanctus and two motets on Ite missa est; 15 of these are in motet style. The manuscript E-Bc 853c-d, containing five Kyries, one Gloria, three Credos and one Sanctus, is one of 12 Ars Nova manuscript fragments known from the old Kingdom of Aragon, which bordered on Avignon: between them they contain some 40 Mass Ordinary movements, of which 23 are in discant style. Small though the French Mass repertory may be, it is very widely disseminated, with several works appearing in ten or more sources, often in substantially different versions. Composers can be named for less than a third of the repertory, but at least five of them can be associated with the Avignon curia: Perrinet, Tailhandier, Tapissier, Sortes and Peliso.

Of the mass music by Italian composers (mainly Glorias, Credos and Sanctus settings, ed. in PMFC, xii) only about a quarter shows pure Italian style: the rest is heavily influenced by the French tradition. The main named composers are Philippus de Caserta, who worked in Avignon, and Antonio Zacara da Teramo and Matteo da Perugia, both connected with the papal curia in Bologna. In the entirely anonymous English repertory from the early 14th century (ed. in PMFC, xvi) Credo settings are particularly rare. Most of the music is in simple homophonic style and perhaps derives from the growing custom of singing Marian votive masses. Special to the English repertory is the survival of Mass Proper settings.

While the manuscripts normally grouped settings of a particular text together, there are some examples of apparent cyclic grouping, though never more than one such group in any single manuscript. The TOURNAI MASS (B-Tc 476, ed. in PMFC, i; also ed. J. Dumoulin and others, Tournai 1988), considered the earliest, has six Ordinary movements, of which the last is a motet in Ars Nova style, Se grasse/Ite, missa est/Cum venerint (known also from I-IV 115 and from the index of F-Pn n.a.fr.23190; the Credo has three further sources, two of them in earlier notation and of Spanish origin, and the Gloria has a further source in F-CA 1328 (n), no.2). Only the Kyrie, Sanctus and Agnus are unique, all in Franconian notation. There is no apparent musical connection between the six movements apart from their being all in three voices and all in simultaneous style apart from the concluding motet (which shares its tenor with a motet by Marchetto da Padova).

The four-voice Messe de Nostre Dame of Guillaume de Machaut, composed perhaps in the early 1360s for Reims Cathedral, is more unified and is important as the earliest such cycle conceived as a unit by a single composer. Machaut may have known some of the Tournai cycle, since his Gloria and Credo have similar textless musical interludes and share other features; they are in simultaneous style and end with a long melismatic Amen. The other four movements of Machaut’s mass are in the manner of motets, but all voices carry the same mass text. The tenor of the Kyrie is based on Vatican Kyrie IV; the Sanctus and Agnus correspond to Vatican Mass XVII; and the Ite is on Sanctus VIII. The Gloria and Credo have no apparent chant basis, though they are stylistically related to one another.

That's much appreciated and very interesting. I need to look again at what Schmelzer says about strangeness I think. Given that polyphonic movements of the mass were obviously common and widespread, what exactly is he saying was so strange about Machaut's mass for contemporary audiences?
« Last Edit: December 23, 2016, 01:49:13 PM by Mandryka »
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Offline sanantonio

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Re: Guillaume de Machaut (c.1300-1377)
« Reply #27 on: December 23, 2016, 01:54:34 PM »
That's much appreciated and very interested. I need to look again at what Schmelzer says about strangeness I think. Given that polyphonic movements of the mass were obviously common and widespread, what exactly is he saying was so strange about Machaut's mass for contemporary audiences?

I don't know what Schmelzer said, I haven't read the notes (if I even have them with my download).  The only thing "strange" is the fact that until Machaut wrote his mass, the music was not unified and at times the styles somewhat divergent.  Machaut wrote his mass utilizing thematic features in order to unify the music from section to section.  I would not call this "strange" but rather unfamiliar to the people of his time.

Mass music grew out of the monophonic music dating back to the 2nd century and gradually additional voices were added.  Most of the time the monophonic original was a chant, not composed, and additional voices were often parallel.  The gradual development of polyphony took several hundred years, with the only constant being an oral transmission (notation lagged far behind) of anonymous chant plus additional voices which were taught based on principles also transmitted orally.

Offline Mandryka

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Re: Guillaume de Machaut (c.1300-1377)
« Reply #28 on: December 23, 2016, 01:59:11 PM »
By the way, one of the things which came as a bit of a surprise in that Missa Magna CD is that the credo ends with a wild amen like in Machaut, there must have been a tradition for mad amens at the end of the credo!

"Strangeness" is the key idea for Schmelzer and possibly for Pérès, it's the reason BS chose to use Corsican / eastern singing style - to make us all feel uncomfortable. And that's because he thinks that Machaut's audience would have felt a shock of the new when they heard the mass. 
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Online Ken B

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Re: Guillaume de Machaut (c.1300-1377)
« Reply #29 on: December 23, 2016, 08:57:24 PM »
Here's more from Grove:

There are three main sources for the French repertory (ed. in PMFC, xxiii). The Apt choirbook (F-APT 16bis) of around 1400 contains ten Kyries, nine Glorias, ten Credos, four Sanctus and one Agnus, of which 21 have text only in the upper voices. The slightly earlier manuscript I-IV 115 has four Kyries, nine Glorias, ten Credos, two Sanctus and two motets on Ite missa est; 15 of these are in motet style. The manuscript E-Bc 853c-d, containing five Kyries, one Gloria, three Credos and one Sanctus, is one of 12 Ars Nova manuscript fragments known from the old Kingdom of Aragon, which bordered on Avignon: between them they contain some 40 Mass Ordinary movements, of which 23 are in discant style. Small though the French Mass repertory may be, it is very widely disseminated, with several works appearing in ten or more sources, often in substantially different versions. Composers can be named for less than a third of the repertory, but at least five of them can be associated with the Avignon curia: Perrinet, Tailhandier, Tapissier, Sortes and Peliso.

Of the mass music by Italian composers (mainly Glorias, Credos and Sanctus settings, ed. in PMFC, xii) only about a quarter shows pure Italian style: the rest is heavily influenced by the French tradition. The main named composers are Philippus de Caserta, who worked in Avignon, and Antonio Zacara da Teramo and Matteo da Perugia, both connected with the papal curia in Bologna. In the entirely anonymous English repertory from the early 14th century (ed. in PMFC, xvi) Credo settings are particularly rare. Most of the music is in simple homophonic style and perhaps derives from the growing custom of singing Marian votive masses. Special to the English repertory is the survival of Mass Proper settings.

While the manuscripts normally grouped settings of a particular text together, there are some examples of apparent cyclic grouping, though never more than one such group in any single manuscript. The TOURNAI MASS (B-Tc 476, ed. in PMFC, i; also ed. J. Dumoulin and others, Tournai 1988), considered the earliest, has six Ordinary movements, of which the last is a motet in Ars Nova style, Se grasse/Ite, missa est/Cum venerint (known also from I-IV 115 and from the index of F-Pn n.a.fr.23190; the Credo has three further sources, two of them in earlier notation and of Spanish origin, and the Gloria has a further source in F-CA 1328 (n), no.2). Only the Kyrie, Sanctus and Agnus are unique, all in Franconian notation. There is no apparent musical connection between the six movements apart from their being all in three voices and all in simultaneous style apart from the concluding motet (which shares its tenor with a motet by Marchetto da Padova).

The four-voice Messe de Nostre Dame of Guillaume de Machaut, composed perhaps in the early 1360s for Reims Cathedral, is more unified and is important as the earliest such cycle conceived as a unit by a single composer. Machaut may have known some of the Tournai cycle, since his Gloria and Credo have similar textless musical interludes and share other features; they are in simultaneous style and end with a long melismatic Amen. The other four movements of Machaut’s mass are in the manner of motets, but all voices carry the same mass text. The tenor of the Kyrie is based on Vatican Kyrie IV; the Sanctus and Agnus correspond to Vatican Mass XVII; and the Ite is on Sanctus VIII. The Gloria and Credo have no apparent chant basis, though they are stylistically related to one another.

Interesting, thanks for posting it.

There is at least one recording of the Tournai mass available, on Naxos, which is worth hearing.

Related and recommended.

« Last Edit: December 23, 2016, 09:04:46 PM by Ken B »
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Offline sanantonio

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Re: Guillaume de Machaut (c.1300-1377)
« Reply #30 on: December 24, 2016, 03:33:27 PM »
By the way, one of the things which came as a bit of a surprise in that Missa Magna CD is that the credo ends with a wild amen like in Machaut, there must have been a tradition for mad amens at the end of the credo!

"Strangeness" is the key idea for Schmelzer and possibly for Pérès, it's the reason BS chose to use Corsican / eastern singing style - to make us all feel uncomfortable. And that's because he thinks that Machaut's audience would have felt a shock of the new when they heard the mass.

Respectfully, I think they are off on their own tack and on shaky historical ground.

 ;)

Offline sanantonio

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Re: Guillaume de Machaut (c.1300-1377)
« Reply #31 on: December 24, 2016, 03:37:01 PM »
There is at least one recording of the Tournai mass available, on Naxos, which is worth hearing.

Machaut probably knew the Tournai mass because his Messe also ends with a motet setting of "Ite, missa est".

Quote
Related and recommended.



Wonderful recording.

 ;)

Offline Mandryka

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Re: Guillaume de Machaut (c.1300-1377)
« Reply #32 on: December 24, 2016, 11:53:35 PM »
(Whoever moved this stuff here, I would have appreciated a message saying where it was)

Respectfully, I think they are off on their own tack and on shaky historical ground.

 ;)



Just to focus in on the question, it is: is the Machaut mass a radical innovation in music which would have surprised and disturbed contemporary audiences, or is it a relatively conservative extension of an established practice of composed polyphonic mass music?

(And, though I hope this doesn't really need saying, neither Pérès nor Schmelzer are claiming that Machaut and his near contemporaries used Eastern or Corsican style singing for the mass!)
« Last Edit: December 25, 2016, 12:33:48 AM by Mandryka »
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Offline Mandryka

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Re: Guillaume de Machaut (c.1300-1377)
« Reply #33 on: December 25, 2016, 12:21:16 AM »


There is at least one recording of the Tournai mass available, on Naxos, which is worth hearing.



Pérès recorded it too, and so did Pro Cantone Antiqua. Of the three I enjoy Pérès the most.

Note that Pérès did NOT use Corsican throat singing, or indeed Byzantine singing, for his recording of the Tournai mass - this may be relevant to understanding Pérès's view of the special status of the Machaut mass as we've started to discuss in the post above,
« Last Edit: December 25, 2016, 12:32:17 AM by Mandryka »
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Offline Mandryka

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Re: Guillaume de Machaut (c.1300-1377)
« Reply #34 on: December 25, 2016, 12:25:31 AM »
Machaut probably knew the Tournai mass because his Messe also ends with a motet setting of "Ite, missa est".


Other settings exist - for example there's one on Pérès's constructed "Missa Gotica" taken from The Toulouse Mass. And there's one in the Missa Magna from Diabolus in Musica. I'm not sure enough of the  chronology of all these things to comment on what Machaut could have known.
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Offline sanantonio

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Re: Guillaume de Machaut (c.1300-1377)
« Reply #35 on: December 25, 2016, 01:01:00 AM »
(Whoever moved this stuff here, I would have appreciated a message saying where it was)

Why here and not the Machaut thread? 

Quote
Just to focus in on the question, it is: is the Machaut mass a radical innovation in music which would have surprised and disturbed contemporary audiences, or is it a relatively conservative extension of an established practice of composed polyphonic mass music?

Machaut did not release copies of his mass other than as parts of his collected works with the exception of the Ite missa est, and as a consequence his mass exerted little if any influence during his lifetime.  Even after his death, his primary influence was not regarding style of the settings, but on the idea of composing complete mass settings.

Quote
(And, though I hope this doesn't really need saying, neither Pérès nor Schmelzer are claiming that Machaut and his near contemporaries used Eastern or Corsican style singing for the mass!)

Well, that is the issue isn't it.  Whatever ideas Peres and Schmelzer have about how controversial the Machaut mass is, the case that the choir at Rheims sang in a Byzantine style is weak to say the least.

Offline sanantonio

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Re: Guillaume de Machaut (c.1300-1377)
« Reply #36 on: December 25, 2016, 01:06:11 AM »
Other settings exist - for example there's one on Pérès's constructed "Missa Gotica" taken from The Toulouse Mass. And there's one in the Missa Magna from Diabolus in Musica. I'm not sure enough of the  chronology of all these things to comment on what Machaut could have known.

I am not a musicologist and am relying mainly on the book written by Daniel Leech-Wilkerson (who is a medievalist and Machaut scholar), he writes that based on an examination of the music itself, Machaut would seem to be writing within the tradition of mass settings, and there is internal evidence that he more precisely used the Tournai Mass as precedent. 

That last is not only based on the inclusion of the sixth section "Ite, missa est", but also on the Credo: "several writers have drawn attention to similarities between Machaut's mass and the set of movements known as the Mass of Tournai; so that it is possible that Machaut's model was not so much general tradition as the example of this specific collection.  In fact their similarities are striking only in the Credo settings, which are so closely related that one must have been based on the other, presumably the Machaut upon Tournai since the latter is almost certainly earlier."

(I will need to read the chapter on the Credo to understand more fully what Leech-Wilkerson is saying, because for me his point is a little cloudy that that passage.  However, I think what comes through most clearly is the Tournai mass being the primary model Machaut used.)

Offline Mandryka

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Re: Guillaume de Machaut (c.1300-1377)
« Reply #37 on: December 25, 2016, 01:06:56 AM »

Well, that is the issue isn't it.  Whatever ideas Peres and Schmelzer have about how controversial the Machaut mass is, the case that the choir at Rheims sang in a Byzantine style is weak to say the least.

It's a red herring, no one has ever suggested they actually sang it like that at the time. Singing it now like how they sang it then is NOT what Schmelzer is trying to do, Pérès neither.
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Re: Guillaume de Machaut (c.1300-1377)
« Reply #38 on: December 25, 2016, 01:11:40 AM »
It's a red herring, no one has ever suggested they actually sang it like that at the time. Singing it now like how they sang it then is NOT what Schmelzer is trying to do, Pérès neither.

What are they trying to do? 

While those recordings have provided a rewarding listening experience (I have currently decided that I like Peres, the jury is still out on Schmelzer), I have always been struck by the stylistic oddity of their singing of this music.

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Re: Guillaume de Machaut (c.1300-1377)
« Reply #39 on: December 25, 2016, 01:22:31 AM »
Pérès recorded it too, and so did Pro Cantone Antiqua. Of the three I enjoy Pérès the most.

Note that Pérès did NOT use Corsican throat singing, or indeed Byzantine singing, for his recording of the Tournai mass - this may be relevant to understanding Pérès's view of the special status of the Machaut mass as we've started to discuss in the post above,

I also like Pérès' recording of the Tournai Mass, and it's indeed an interesting point you make that this "Byzantine" style is not applied...
I'm wondering why not? Perhaps because it is an earlier recording from 1991?



Anyway, it is a gorgeous recording all the same. :)

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