Related Reviews
Toute la Culture
'Ici, l’Art subtilior de l’Italie du Nord et des « cansos » (chansons) plus intériorisées de France sont magnifiquement déployéspar les chanteurs Perrine Devillers, Yukie Sato,et Vivien Simon.'
more >>
Diapason
Diapason d'or: Prises de son d'exception
more >>
BBC Music Magazine
4½ Stars
Choral & Song Choice: '...a magical sound-carpet of music...altogether an impressive and revelatory first recording from the Sollazzo Ensemble...'
more >>
Le Soir
'C'est tout l'attrait de cet enregistrement où des chants de moralité sont revisités avec une grâce presque spontanée qui en détaille les délices et les volutes vocaux.'
more >>
All Music
4½ Stars
Best of 2017: 'The ensemble's pure instrumental sonorities and virtuosic singing make this album a delightful introduction to medieval music, and the recorded sound makes the listening experience a pleasure.'
more >>
Diapason
Diapason d'Or: 'The musicians led by Anna Danilevskaia bring a bold freshness to these songs, which, driven by their passion, reveal a bright and picturesque Middle Ages.'
more >>
Early Music Review
'...when I put on this CD I was instantly captivated by the superb performances...Magical!'
more >>
Early Music America
'This is an exceptional performance; it is full of vitality and enthusiasm, facility and flexibility...'
more >>
BBC Radio 3 'Record Review'
'These ancient works come off the page with a freshness and immediacy that’s compelling...Quite a debut!'
more >>
The Arts Desk
Disc of the Year: 'Sollazzo Ensemble's exuberant collection of medieval songs is my disc of the year.'
more >>
Culturopoing
'Vivant et piquant sont deux adjectifs qui pourraient merveilleusement définir la prestation de l'Ensemble Sollazzo qui livre un premier disque concis et brillant, courageux par le nombre de musiques rares, voire inédites, qu'il propose.'
more >>
De Standaard
Critics’ Choice – #4 Best Recording of 2017: 'Medieval enchantment! These newcomers...are so incredibly promising.'
more >>
Giornale Della Musica
'This music requires attentive listening and should be savored slowly...in order to capture all the nuances, allusions, metaphors and classic references of this refined and at times enigmatic art.'
more >>
Gramophone
Editor's Choice: 'This has to be one of the most exciting and engaging releases of medieval song in recent years...absolutely bewitching.'
more >>
The Sunday Times
'The Sollazzo Ensemble brilliantly express text and flavour.'
more >>
Wunderkammern
'Of all the recordings of medieval music that I have been given to listen to this year, Parle qui veut is probably one of the best...'
more >>
Stretto
'Very, very special. Not to be missed.'
more >>
The Observer
4 Stars
'This imaginative debut album from the prize-winning six-member young Sollazzo Ensemble is a landmark: a wholly original approach to the secular music of the 14th century, done with energy and flair.'
more >>
iTunes
'It’s hard to imagine this music performed more vibrantly.'
more >>

Sollazzo Ensemble - Parle qui veut - The Arts Desk


02 December 2017
The Arts Desk
Graham Rickson

Here, Anne Stone’s fascinating sleeve essay does get a bit Dan Brown at times: there's mention of a mysterious song collection called the Squarcialupi Codex, and talk of a diminutive 14th century composer lacking many fingers and toes. The said songbook contains a lament sung by the personification of Music, “weeping… to see pleasant minds abandon sweet and perfect qualities for frottole”. In essence, the voice of a grumpy oldster complaining that today's youngsters spend their time listening to crap instead of the good stuff. In a setting by the talented multi-instrumentalist Francesco Landini, it sounds ravishing, sung by two sopranos and tenor with harp accompaniment. Sollazzo Ensemble give us a collection of 13 short songs, each one terrific. Elsewhere, envy’s destructive powers are compared to the glance of a basilisk, and sundry other lyrics rail against dishonesty, deceit and distrust. Yet the effect is always invigorating: numbers like Andrea da Firenze’s “Dal traditor” fizz with energy, and the slower numbers overwhelm. Craziest is the final song, Antonio da Teramo’s “Cacciando per gustar/Ai cinci, ai toppi”. It closes with several minutes of raucous market cries. Chestnuts, figs and Sardinian cheese all feature.

This is an exceptional release, and the most enjoyable early music collection I've encountered. I was lucky enough to hear Sollazzo give the performance which won them first prize in the York Early Music Festival’s International Young Artists Competition back in 2015. I'm still reeling from the experience. Making this recording formed part of their prize. It's phenomenal: excitement, sensuality and sheer fun abound. Sopranos Yukie Sato and Perrine Devillers take on the lion’s share of vocal duties, aided by tenor Vivien Simon. The backings, on, variously, harp and a pair of vielles, are consistently exquisite. Anna Danilevskai’s direction is flawless. Brilliant, in other words.


Bookmark and Share


Related Links

Sollazzo EnsembleSollazzo Ensemble
Parle qui veut: Moralizing Songs of the Middle AgesParle qui veut: Moralizing Songs of the Middle Ages