Verdelot - Catherine King and Jacob Heringman - A Renaissance Songbook - The Daily Telegraph
05 February 2001The Daily Telegraph
Considering that he was the first of the great Italian madrigalists, Philippe Verdelot's music is still much less well-known than it deserves. The simple expressiveness and sensitive but restrained text-setting of these earliest examples of the form are a world away from the highly charged emotion and dramatic word-painting of more familiar later madrigals, but their unaffected charm should be as appealing to modern listeners as it was to those of Verdelot's contemporaries, who revered him as the best composer since Josquin des Prez. The attractiveness of this disc is further increased by the wise decision to use a variety of scoring rather than treating all the madrigals as four-part vocal pieces. A few judiciously chosen ones are performed in this way, but more than half are most effectively presented as lute-song, stylishly sung by Catherine King and Charles Daniels with beautifully shaped phrasing and admirably clear words. Others are played in contemporary versions for solo lute.
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