The Orlando Consort

As part of this project, we have worked closely with the renowned Orlando Consort. The aim to produce a complete recording of Machaut's polyphonic songs and selected other output is an ongoing endeavour that has so far resulted in seven critically acclaimed CDs. The Orlandos have used our new edition, allowing us to understand in real time how performers interact with the music and tailor our edition to their needs. All CDs are available from Hyperion:

Songs from the Voir Dit CD CoverSongs from Le Voir Dit (2013)

The first CD showcases songs from Machaut's Livre dou Voir Dit (‘Book of the True Tale’). You can watch a video of the consort discussing their recording on YouTube. To obtain a copy, visit the Hyperion website.

It has already received critical acclaim - David Fallows for Gramophone writes:

To my ears, this is a dream team, with the enormously experienced Donald Greig and Angus Smith alongside ...Matthew Venner and Mark Dobell, who display the most magnificent articulation of the texts alongside the understanding of the lines gained from their senior colleagues...always dead in tune, always beautifully balanced...the unforgettable track here is Angus Smith performing the 'Lay de Bon Esperance', over 20 minutes of unaccompanied solo singing...He's terrific.

The Dart of Love CD CoverThe Dart of Love (2015)

Available from the Hyperion website, "The Dart of Love" has been warmly received:

The Orlando Consort perform these works with matchless purity of tone and clarity of diction. (Limelight, Australia)

The programme is nicely varied in mood and scoring, ranging from four-voice ballades and motets to a single-voice virelai, and every combination in between … a thoughtful essay by Anne Stone makes audible sense of the many connections between the pieces on this valuable, impressive recording. (Gramophone)

 

A Burning Heart (2016)

Available from the Hyperion website.

Blair Sanderson, writing for AllMusic.com, describes the Consort's singing as "wonderfully evocative and full of medieval atmosphere." While Brian Wilson, for MusicWeb International, declares: "I doubt...if either Chaucer or Chrétien could have imagined anything better than the singing on this and the other Orlando Consort Machaut recordings."

 

 

Sovereign Beauty CD CoverSovereign Beauty (2017)

Available from the Hyperion website.

If I hear a finer recording of 14th-century music this year I’ll be very surprised. (Gramophone)

The Orlando Consort sings with a superb blend of sophisticated delivery and sweetness, with a gentleness that results in a whole, not a collection of colliding tropes … there is something satisfying and appealing about the way in which these four singers leave us with a sense of how important spontaneity is … The Orlando Consort respects the fact that he wrote from the heart, and only secondarily in any particular ‘genre’. (MusicWeb International)

 

The Gentle Physician CD CoverThe Gentle Physician (2018)

Available from the Hyperion website.

Machaut's vocal music has had no better advocates than the Orlando Consort, who have released six superb albums of his works, and continue to bring life to his intricate and intrinsically difficult music … the high quality of this 2018 release gives hope for the continued success of this project. (AllMusic, USA)

The other major coup is Le lay de confort … a splendid performance, ranking among the best single Machaut songs on records … altogether, this series goes from strength to strength. (Fanfare, USA)

 

Fortune's ChildFortune's Child (2018)

Available from the Hyperion website.

As with previous volumes, the programming of this series is deeply impressive … the Orlandos project and enunciate Machaut’s French so well that one rarely reaches for the printed text. As to the vocal quality, the Orlandos’ house style is flexible enough to accommodate a full-throated approach, as in the polytextual pieces, where the individual voices seem to compete for attention. (Gramophone)

As we have come to expect with this group, the performances are eminently professional and poised. The duet Riches d'amour is marvellously tuned and lithe, and several of the solo pieces … are sung with purity and precision. (BBC Music Magazine)

The Single Rose CD CoverThe Single Rose (2019)

Available from the Hyperion website.

David Fallows called them a ‘dream team’, Fabrice Fitch described their fourth Machaut album in this series as ‘one bullseye after another’ and it will come as little surprise that now I’m about to lace them with more compliments. I love a big recording project planned with superb scholarship, lively programming and consistent performances, and this Machaut series on Hyperion has it all. (Gramophone)

That evergreen theme of courtly love inspires in Machaut extraordinary harmonies and beautiful, primitive counterpoint. The singers combine pin-sharp tuning and gentle phrasing in this seductive collection. (BBC Music Magazine)

 

News

***********************STOP PRESS!!!!!!!!************************

The Complete Poetry and Music of Guillaume de Machaut Volume 1 is out now!!!!

Volume 1: The Debate Poems is now available in print.

You can also enjoy the entire volume online via the Middle English Texts Website.

Edited and translated by R. Barton Palmer, with art historical commentary by Domenic Leo, and musical commentary by Uri Smilansky, the volume contains  Le Jugement dou Roy de Behaigne, Le Jugement dou Roy de Navarre, and Le Lay de Plour.

 

 

 

The Ferrell-Vogüé Machaut Manuscript

Full colour facsimile with introductory study by Lawrence Earp, Domenic Leo and Carla Shapreau. Preface by Christopher de Hamel

"It is a vast manuscript of royal luxury, 390 leaves of parchment, 314 mm. by 220 mm., illustrated with 118 enchanting miniatures by a workshop of court illuminators led by the Master of the Bible of Jean de Sy.They include pictures of gothic chivalry and romance, with mythology and natural history. Music is included on 235 pages of the manuscript, with almost the entire corpus of the ballades, lais and motets of Machaut, as well as his great polyphonic setting of the Mass, the four-part Messe de Nostre-Dame.The manuscript has never before been photographed in its entirety or reproduced in colour."

"Vol. 1 introductory study (225 pages colour/mono), vol. 2 facsimile (789 full colour pages) on 150gsm matt art paper. Full size reproduction, hard bound in buckram, presented in hard slipcover."

Available now from DIAMM Publications.

The Art of Grafted Song: Citation and Allusion in the Age of Machaut by Yolanda Plumley

Available now from Oxford University Press

"Presents the first detailed exploration of citational practices in the song-writing tradition of fourteenth-century France. The first monograph-length study on the Ars nova chanson with new evidence about the emergence of the new polyphonic chanson. Provides new evidence about the circle of poets and composers who engaged with Machaut and created a new style of poetry and song. Explores little studied collections of lyrics and songs of the period and provides fresh insights and perspectives on Machaut's works."