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Another first-rate disc from Katharina Bäuml and Capella de la Torre. Lute and percussion are added to their shawms, sackbuts and slide trumpets here to invoke some small part of the auditory cornucopia that might have been heard by the 50,000 participants of The Council of Constance – including Oswald von Wolkenstein, represented here – on occasions ranging from the procession in honour of King Sigismund’s entry for the Christmas festivities of 1415, to solemn invocations to the Holy Spirit to come down and assist with the matter of the three simultaneously functioning popes of the Great Western Schism.

More than 30 languages were spoken by these participants and the musical cultures of a great many of these lands were represented by prestigious alta cappella ensembles.

Capella de la Torre arrange their repertoire into six sections: Entry of the Musicians and Invocation to the Holy Ghost; sections dedicated to the music of the French, the Italians, the British and the Germans; and a jam session showcasing their formidable skills in improvising on tenors and dance tunes.

Intonation is dazzlingly accurate throughout, and the ensemble’s sound-palette is a veritable kaleidoscope ranging from dazzling brightness (Dufay’s ‘Gloria ad modum tubae’) to the intricacy and clarity (Guglielmo Ebreo’s Ballo ‘Petit Vriens’) to caressing warmth and tenderness (the anonymous ‘Auxce bon youre delabonestren’).

Other composers whose music is featured here include Philippe de Vitry, Domenico da Piacenza, Gilles Binchois, John Bedingham and Antonio Cornazano. Highly recommended.

Catherine Groom Read the full review on Agora Classica


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Early Music Today, 2015 - ©Rhinegold Publishing