Britain's Dufay Collective has shown a talent for creating limpid, accessible performances of somewhat arcane repertory, and so it is here. The group, along with the female vocal trio Voice, takes up secular English music of the 14th and 15th centuries, most of it anonymous and some of it surviving only as poetry: Dufay Collective director William Lyons has provided idiomatic music for those pieces, and they're good enough to fool all but specialists. The settings are lightly polyphonic, and Lyons offers a full range of forces from all-instrumental to all-vocal to various combinations in between. This is all to the good, and the female vocals, although unusual in this repertory, fit well enough with the airy quality of the texts and the playful dance of the courtly love theme around the secular-sacred boundary. Avie's church sound is too spacious for this very intimate repertory, but really the biggest complaint one might have about this album is its midsummer release date: for the right kind of Valentine gift recipient, the album would be just the ticket.
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AllMusic Review by James Manheim