The fourth in our series, Sovereign Beauty was Gramophone Editor's Choice on its release. Judged against modern standards, Machaut had a limited harmonic palette to employ, working as he did to the contemporary conventions of writing for one to four voices. It is just one measure of his genius that this is turned to such advantage in 2- part pieces such as ‘Quant j’ay l’espart’ there is a telling sparseness that supports the sentiments of the song, while the 4-part ‘Se quanque Amours’ emerges from smaller-scale songs to strike the listener with a phenomenal richness and complexity of character.
Recording details: January 2015
Parish Church of St John the Baptist, Loughton, Essex, United Kingdom
Produced by Mark Brown
Engineered by David Hinitt
Release date: July 2017
Total duration: 63 minutes 26 seconds
‘If I hear a finer recording of 14th-century music this year I’ll be very surprised’ (Gramophone)