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Not for the faint-hearted, Heinz Holliger’s creative arrangements, sequenced by him with unadulter- ated Machaut, open one’s ears to the shock of the new/old. Uncompromisingly intellectual with fascinating tuning schemes, advanced techniques, and daunting virtuosity, these extreme string tributes contrast provocatively with classic Hilliard readings of both originals and arrangements. There’s no hiding from the immediacy of the recorded sound and, when voices and strings culminate in the extraordinary Complainte, the dissection and rebuilding of Machaut in Holliger’s alchemical laboratory conjures a truly monstrous tribute: Officium it ain’t.

REBECCA TAVENER Read the full review on Agora Classica

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