Love and devotion in medieval England
The Dufay Collective & Voice
This delightfully fresh selection of Medieval English music on the theme of love and devotion features the familiar ‘naïve’ playing style of the Collective matched by beautifully unmannered singing from the three singers of Voice. Clearly using the latest research into the pronunciation of Medieval English, the singers make this charming repertoire sound well and truly ‘lived in’, performing the material with an engaging familiarity. The accompaniments are intelligently varied, drawing on the wide range of textures on offer from the instruments of the Collective. These include flute and recorder, expertly played by the group’s director William Lyons and Rebecca Austen-Brown while the sounds of harp and gittern are contributed by Jon Banks and Jacob Heringman. These instruments and Lyons’ English double pipes provide a surprisingly varied palette of textures and tones, and often the very simplest of accompaniments are the most effective with this beguilingly simple music. The collection of lovesongs and devotional pieces is rounded off with a toe-tapping set of Medieval dance tunes, where the instrumentalists can truly let their hair down – and blow up the double pipes!
D. James Ross