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What a completely enchanting disc!
These "Airs de Cour" by Pierre Guédron, interspersed with other brief viol and lute instrumentals from the same period, make for a captivating concert of French music circa 1600. Three weeks ago, I have not heard of Pierre Guédron, Vincent Dumestre, or his ensemble Le Poème Harmonique. But my vocalist son invited us to a concert in which an ensemble he was singing was highlighting music of Guédron. Always eager to ramp up on music new to me, I found this disc and downloaded it a few days before the concert. I was rewarded with one perfect musical hour.
Guédron's music is rich and has sumptuous settings of texts mostly of love and loss. The performance by Le Poème Harmonique is truly compelling. Somehow they bring out both the dance and the depth in these wonderfully recorded songs. Guédron's music ranges from the heart-wrenching "Quel espoir de guarir", my favorite, to the comical "A Paris sur petit pont". This leads me to my one very minor complaint, that Le Poème could have lightened up a bit on "Je suis bon garcon", in keeping with its somewhat facetious lyrics.
A Gramophone review of this CD begins with, "It's a long time since I had this much fun listening to a CD". I heartily recommend this affordable download if you're in need of that experience.more....
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GUEDRON: Consort Music