Fiona Maddocks
The Guardian
January 2015

The Orlando Consort—countertenor, two tenors and a baritone—have been singing medieval and early Renaissance music for nearly three decades. This latest disc celebrates the fourteenth-century French composer-poet Guillaume de Machaut with a selection of his numerous motets and songs (ballades, virelais or rondeaux) on the theme of courtly love and its diversions: in 'Phyton, le mervilleus serpent', a seven-headed snake a mile long has nothing on the lover’s merciless lady; in the motet 'Lasse! Comment oublieray', a wife complains that her husband beats her. Machaut, in the skilled hands of these musicians, turns these brutalities into music of ethereal purity, pulsating with poised, almost jaunty rhythms. Music for quiet concentration.