Review by: David Vernier
Artistic Quality: 10
Sound Quality: 10
As many times as I’ve heard the medieval carol “There is no rose”, it still works its mysterious magic–and especially so when performed as beautifully as it is on this must-have Christmas/Epiphany recording from the Quebec-based Atma label. Daniel Taylor not only is one of the world’s top countertenors, but simply is one of the world’s top singers, period. And his singing partner here, soprano Suzie Le Blanc, has no superior in the realm of early music. Together, these two are a marvel–not only in the aforementioned “There is no rose”, but also in their ideally interpreted and perfectly tuned “Nowell: Dieu vous garde” duet. And on their own, as in Taylor’s heart-rending delivery of Byrd’s “Lullaby, my sweet little baby” and Le Blanc’s tender and passionate “Une jeune pucelle”, they are unforgettable.
The instrumental accompaniments and solo offerings are equally fine, especially the work of lutenist Sylvain Bergeron, a world-class master of early and baroque style, whose contributions are invariably tasteful and imaginative. Also appearing are Susie Napper and Margaret Little, who have made a respectable name for themselves as Les Voix Humaines, a viola da gamba duo–a unique niche if ever there were one! The program is a well-chosen and intelligently organized selection of early carols and dances directly associated with the celebration of Christmas, made even more appealing by skillful, enticing arrangements that include viols, recorder, lute, drum, bells, and percussion. The sound is remarkable for its realism. Be prepared to be convinced that these performers are right in the room with you!
Buy Now from Arkiv Music
Recording Details:Album Title: STAR OF THE MAGI
Medieval & Renaissance Christmas Carols & Songs -