A new departure for the wonderful all-male vocal ensemble Cinquecento. They turn to the secular music—generally much less well-known—of the Renaissance masters Philippe de Monte, Jacobus Vaet and Jacob Regnart whose sacred music they have explored so successfully in previous recordings for Hyperion. Also included are six chansons by Jean Guyot de Châtelet (his name is sometimes Latinized to ‘Castileti’).
This collection is both historically fascinating and stunningly performed. The music is beautiful and sensuous, with the polyphonic arts familiar from sacred works of this period now put to the service of earthly emotions. An expressively melancholic vein pervades many of these works, and one can see them as a precursor to Monteverdi’s madrigals.