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Posted October 1, 2010
While the tone of many of the tracks is a bit darker (Perceval is older now and reflecting on his mistakes), the motets of combined motifs are even more compellingly beautiful than in Volume 1, and track #20 brings it all to a satisfying and multi-layered conclusion. Countertenor Daniel Taylor returns as Perceval, and the combination of early stringed instruments with tin whistle and recorder continues to evoke an enticing atmosphere hovering somewhere between Celtic, medieval and modern. The name of this Canadian ensemble, ¿La Nef,¿ is French for ¿ship¿, and can also mean that section of a church¿s interior (the ¿nave¿) where people sit or stand to worship. I find it a fitting name, since their music is quite transporting, and were I sitting in a church listening to them perform, as I have done with other early music groups, I would likely be feeling quite worshipful of the quality of their music-making. La Nef has three other releases, also on the Dorian Label: ¿Montsegur: The Tragedy of the Cathars¿, ¿Music for Joan the Mad¿, and ¿The Garden of Earthly Delights¿. These recordings contain more standard, period fare, though well done to be sure. In ¿Montsegur¿, Bergeron begins arranging motets to bring together previously-played musical motifs, but it is in ¿Perceval¿ that the technique finds full and most satisfying realization.
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