L’Occhio del Cor

Francesco Landini
La Reverdie & Christophe Deslignes
Arcana A462

In the case of Landini the title ‘the eye of the heart’ holds an extra poignancy as the composer was blind, and many of his ballades feature sight denied, absent or otherwise thwarted. In this delightful compilation, La Reverdie have chosen specifically those songs in which sight features, interspersing them with instrumental performances of other ballades. As all five members of the group in addition to playing lute, recorders, vielles, rebec, harps and tamburello also sing, the permutations are endlessly interesting, a variety further enhanced by the organetto playing of Christophe Desligne. A profuse composer, Landini’s music comes in a bewildering variety of moods and styles, from the languidly melancholy to the frenetically dynamic. At his most creative, as in the exquisitely beautiful ballade Muort’oramai deh misero dolente, Landini plucks at the heart strings, and in these beautiful and effortlessly elegant performances his music is heard to best advantage.

D. James Ross

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