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Hyperion Records

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Track(s) taken from CDA67129
Recording details: August 1999
St Andrew's Church, Toddington, Gloucestershire, United Kingdom
Produced by David Skinner
Engineered by Tony Faulkner
Release date: October 2000
Total duration: 7 minutes 11 seconds

'It is difficult to imagine more lucid or elegant performances. In a very short time, The Binchois Consort have established themselves as one of the very finest ensembles in the field' (Gramophone)

'Excellent. It is a perfect example of that all-too-rare marriage of first-rate scholarship and high-quality musicianship' (The Daily Telegraph)

'A very fine disc. Another first-rate disc from Andrew Kirkman: this is a must' (International Record Review)

'Fascinating' (CDReview)

O pulcherrima mulierum / Girum caeli circuivi
possibly by Busnois
author of text

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
The idea that O pulcherrima mulierum/Girum coeli circuivi might be by Busnois was first suggested more than half a century ago by Laurence Feininger. Support for Feininger’s ascription may be seen in its presence in what appears to be a deliberately constructed ‘nest’ of pieces by Busnois in the source that transmits it, and Sean Gallagher recently made a powerful case for Busnois’ authorship on notational, structural and motivic grounds. Like so many motet texts of this period, the words of this motet, drawn and adapted from The Song of Songs and Ecclesiasticus, were clearly chosen for their syncretic value in linking the messages of the Old and New Testaments. In this case they seem to point, as Leofranc Holford-Strevens has suggested to me, both to the Second Coming and, as so often, to Christ as the bridegroom of The Song of Songs. The luxuriance of the motet embraces something of the beguiling quality which so often imbues Song of Songs settings: its rich texture is formed from long and elegantly-shaped melodic lines that burst out periodically into more florid effusions.

from notes by Andrew Kirkman © 2000

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