Amici Voices, Terence Charlston
Amici Sounds ASO 1415
This CD is the musical equivalent of the growing fashion for self-publishing in the book world – a minimally packaged account of what looks like a concert programme, committed to CD primarily for sale at concerts and enabled by financial support, in this case from Agincourt 600. What it contains are pleasantly stylish performances of mainly mainstream sacred and secular choral music from the 15th century as well as contemporary music for keyboard performed on a reconstruction of the earliest surviving harpsichord in the world (c. 1480). The by necessity terse programme notes make at least one rather sweeping claim for the programme, that it ‘forms an unusual and unique response in words and music to this pivotal and controversial historical event’ when, in fact, most of the repertoire has absolutely nothing to do with Agincourt. This sounds more like a statement which survived from a grant application than anything of relevance to the actual CD. Having said that, the performances of the albeit very familiar choral music are all engaging and accomplished, and the music for keyboard performed on the reconstructed upright harpsichord is intriguing. I’m not sure that it adds anything to our understanding of the music of this period, but it would serve as an authentic and inexpensive general introduction to those coming afresh to the music of the time of Agincourt.
D. James Ross
The disc is available directly from the group’s website.