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<<<  <<  -- 2 --  Mike Wheeler    FASCINATING AND REWARDING

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To open the second half of the concert the Orlando Consort gave the première of O'Regan's Virelai: Douce Dame jolie, based on Machaut's piece of the same name, in which they relished the music's delightful rhythmic interplay.

The Orlando Consort. Photo © Richard Haughton/harmonia mundi usa
The Orlando Consort. Photo © Richard Haughton/harmonia mundi usa

And the Machaut itself? Its mixture of tight formal control and free-wheeling imagination was vividly conveyed in the Orlando Consort's performance. Its sound-world is not the smoothly euphonious one of even a hundred years later (Dufay, say), but neither is it starkly austere, and the Orlandos found just the right balance between the two extremes to project its energy and its sense of exploring new possibilities. They even managed to disguise the fact that it was designed for a much more resonant acoustic than the one we were in.

They ended with a glimpse of Machaut's legacy in the shape of Antoine Brumel's Nato canunt omnia, setting the seal on a fascinating and rewarding evening. The next scheduled performance is on 17 November 2007 in Durham. Catch it if you possibly can.

Copyright © 14 May 2007 Mike Wheeler, Derby UK

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THE ORLANDO CONSORT

VIVA VOCE AT THE UNIVERSITY OF NOTTINGHAM MUSIC SOCIETY

TARIK O'REGAN

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