Much-awaited has been the new recording of the Machaut Messe de Nostre Dame from Bjorn Schmelzer and Graindelavoix, one of Glossas long- standing artistic family members. Following on from the trio of discs devoted to music in the spirit of the medieval master draughtsman Villard de Honnecourt the Antwerp-based ensemble currently in residence at the Fondation Royaumont in France has now turned to the first-known composer of an integral mass cycle: Guillaume de Machaut, who was a canon at Reims Cathedral in the fourteenth century.
It was a great idea to unite in one CD two composers who symbolized the first generation of Germanic romanticism: Schubert and Mendelssohn, associated with Richard Strauss who was to incarnate with Mahler the last jolts of post-romanticism. Schubert composed his sonata for arpeggione and piano in A minor, D.821-1824, for an instrument whose very brief existence was the arpeggione. It begins with an Allegro moderato, developed in a passionate tone, but devoid of any feverishness or anxiety, elements that frequently appear in many works by Schubert contemporaries of this Sonata.
This album, if it had been published in a timely manner, could be called "Small parties with friends" as the complicity between all participants and their guests sweating nine original compositions that compose it. If the publication of this album is a bit of a miracle, it mainly takes its source in the good habit of André Ceccarelli systematically archive all of his recordings, especially those that make up this album and were set there today 'Today twelve years, hence the name of this album title: Twelve years Ago.
What did it mean for Guillaume Du Fay (ca. 1397-1474), chameleon-like expert in every musical genre of his day, to compose four settings of the Mass Ordinary toward the end of his life? Looking back from the vantage point of the next generation, when the polyphonic mass reigned supreme, it might be tempting to interpret these works as a self-conscious summa of Du Fay’s career – an achievement akin to Haydn’s London Symphonies or Beethoven’s late string quartets. On a purely musical level these comparisons are apt. Each mass stakes out unique musical terrain; they are often strikingly experimental; and the entire set is shimmeringly beautiful from beginning to end, revealing a composer at the height of his powers.