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10.11.10

Blue Heron Fly-Over

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available at Amazon
Aston / Jones / Mason (from the Peterhouse Partbooks), Blue Heron


available at Amazon
Du Fay: Motets, Hymns, Chansons, Sanctus Papale, Blue Heron

Read my review published today in the Style section of the Washington Post:

Charles T. Downey, Blue Heron ensemble captivates at Dumbarton Oaks
Washington Post, November 10, 2010
The Boston-based vocal ensemble Blue Heron made its Washington debut this week on the Friends of Music series at Dumbarton Oaks. The ensemble's captivating program of 15th-century polyphonic chansons, heard Monday night, featured five of the group's singers in various combinations and sometimes supported by instruments.

It is rare to hear live performances of this secular music of the early Renaissance, perhaps because its pre-tonal dissonance and sometimes forbidding rhythmic complexity make audiences and performers uncomfortable in a way not unlike the reaction of some to post-tonal music. Blue Heron's approach was to present this music as works intended for soloists, with the singers mostly one on a part. The long, flowing melismas, or chains of notes on a single syllable that conclude many phrases especially in Burgundian chansons, were interwoven by the singers like the tendrils of vines in the tapestry hanging behind the performers in the Music Room at Dumbarton Oaks. [Continue reading]
Blue Heron
A 15th-Century Cabaret (music by Binchois, Busnoys, Du Fay, Frye, others)
Dumbarton Oaks

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