Ensemble Céladon, Paulin Bündgen
fuga libera FUG 767
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The vocal trio of the Ensemble Céladon, under the direction of the counter-tenor Paulin Bündgen, provides a selection of 13th-century French music in the Notre Dame style juxtaposed with music for the same forces by the French composer Jean-Philippe Goude composed in 2017. In addition to concert music, Goude writes music for films, commercials and television, but in these pieces he has thoroughly imbibed the world of the earlier repertoire, writing music which complements it perfectly. The vocal trio sing with wonderful energy, rapt intensity and perfect intonation throughout, genuinely allowing the music of these two repertoires, separated by some 800 years, to interact and comment on one another. Conceived in the awful shadow of the burning of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, this programme seems to exude much-needed comfort. The title Hieros, Greek for sacred, pinpoints some of the more philosophical elements underlying the project, such as the consideration of the very concept of ‘sacred’ down the ages. It is a mark of the extent to which the burning of this national icon has led to the questioning of many aspects of religion in France, and this would seem like the perfect soundtrack to underpin this sort of profound philosophising.
D. James Ross