The 5 CD Box Set are presented in a roughly chronlogical order, with most tracks grouped by album, to provide a spectacular timeline of his career. Several of his albums are presented in near complete form–in the case of "Histoire de Melody Nelson," the whole thing is included on here. I would highly recommend this album to anyone who loves Gainsbourg but doesn't want to have to hunt down all of his albums individually.
Continuing their forays through the less well-known parts of the Renaissance repertory, The Sound and the Fury now give us almost the entire known works of Firminus Caron (active in the 1460s and ’70s) – lacking only a dozen or so secular pieces. The top line is taken throughout by the peerless David Erler, a man who seems unable to produce an inelegant line or a less than lovely sound.
with 'chansons de geste' ben lukas boysen a.k.a. hecq presents a very personal release, conceived as a memorial and dedication to bygone events and individuals. the basic sources for the eleven haunting tracks were original tape recordings boysen and his family members made decades ago for private use, ranging from piano etudes to classical works by composers like j.s. bach and johannes brahms. it was hecq's intention to restore, to revive and to re-arrange these basic sources for the existing release in a condensed and unusual way. each tape was digitized to hard disc, loops and patches were extracted from this sound pool, and the collection was recorded on a reel-to-reel tape recorder. the tapes were taken and played back inside a church where the natural reverb of the location was added and used as the master recording.
It's always great to encounter the recording that can "crack" a composer open, making his or her music accessible to a general listening public. And it's all the better when such a recording comes from beyond the usual quarters, as, for example, with this American recording of Renaissance polyphony. Nicolas Gombert was a Flemish Renaissance composer, a successor (and possibly a student) of Josquin who entered the service of Holy Roman Emperor Charles V. His music, especially in his masses, tends to present itself as a dense, unbroken flow of polyphony. Gombert is one of the composers music history students tend to slog through in hopes of getting to the good stuff. One noted Renaissance scholar used to refer to him, Adrian Willaert, and Giaches de Wert as "the Ert brothers." All that could change with this disc of Gombert motets and chansons. These works are less dense than his masses, but not by much, and they are considerably less limpid than Josquin's pieces in the same genres. But here it is the performances that clarify them. The Massachusetts ensemble Capella Alamire (the name is a pun on an aspect of an old solmization system) under director Peter Urquhart, recording in a church in Portsmouth, NH, slows the motets down slightly and addresses them with a group of eight singers – the black belt of choral singing.
From the list of his surviving compositions and the number of their sources, Firmin Caron was clearly highly esteemed in the second half of the fifteenth century, particularly as a composer of French chansons. Most sources of his works are of Italian provenance; nonetheless the oldest French sources, from around 1470, leave little doubt that the composer himself was a Frenchman. Born around 1440 in Amiens and probably trained at the choir school, he developed his original musical language there under the stylistic influence of Guillaume Dufay.