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The Passion of Reason is an anthology of recorder and vocal music performed by Frans Brüggen’s ensemble Sour Cream. The recordings were made 20 years ago and feature Kees Boeke and Walter van Hauwe (recorders) as well as Brüggen himself, with Isabel Alvarez (voice) and Toyohiko Satoh (lutes). In his interesting essay, Kees Boeke discusses the age-old dilemma of the conflict between reason and passion. Pythagoras, Aristotle, Plato, but above all Boethius, are called to account providing pegs upon which to hang an imaginative and on occasion controversial programme. The music takes us on a four-and-a-half-century journey from Guillaume de Machaut to Bach via much unfamiliar repertoire by seldom encountered composers. Specialised listening indeed and if you do not much care for recorders, probably not for you. In conjunction with Boeke’s essay, though, this is both a stimulating and thought-provoking excursion undertaken by accomplished musicians.

Nicholas Anderson Read the full review on Agora Classica


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