Airs de Cour - Catherine King & Jacob Heringman - Early Music Review

Exquisite is, if not necessarily the only word, certainly a highly appropriate one to describe this repertoire, programme and set of performances. Both singers have clearly worked hard to master the unfamiliar period pronunciation (an aspect of performance still too seldom addressed) and to get thoroughly inside this highly mannered idiom. The many repeats - not only those inherent in a verse/refrain structure but also those within the binary form of verses - are intelligently handled with ornamentation neither automatic nor formulaic, but always nicely calculated to add to the expressive content of both words and music. The resonant, squeak-free lute accompaniments are delicious and the solos, as well as being enjoyable in themselves, fulfill the important function of turning what might have been simply a well-planned anthology into a more varied domestic concert. Recommended for all occasions, but especially for the late evening with a glass of something smooth and red.

Early Music Review
01 April 1999