Boston Camerata / Anne Azéma

Treasures of Devotion: European Spiritual Song ca. 1500

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The Boston Camerata, founded in 1954, was responsible for innovations in the performance of Renaissance music that, in some cases, preceded similar developments in Europe. The group was dominated by director Joel Cohen, who led it from 1969 to 2008 and has remained active; here he translated the booklet notes of new director Anne Azéma. There was a short hiatus in the Camerata's recording career, but now they're back under Azéma. The good news is that they haven't lost a step. This group cultivated a sound that one might describe as distinctly American, if there were not so many American groups following British cathedral and collegiate models. The vocal blend allows room for sensuous beauty. The title Treasures of Devotion is general; these are mostly secular chansons, interspersed with instrumental works. A nice balance between simple and more complex pieces allows room for exploring interesting ideas of the moment (as in the multiple versions of "De tous biens plaine"). In short, this is a Boston Camerata album in the classic mold; loosely organized around a place and time, but held together well by musical values. A fine return to form and a good place to start with Renaissance vocal music for anyone.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 01:36
2 01:28
3 01:30
4 01:26
5 02:03
6 01:26
7 01:38
8 01:34
9 02:58
10 02:47
11 02:31
12 01:48
13 03:08
14 02:42
15 02:03
16 02:23
17 02:34
18 01:13
19 03:29
20 01:21
21 03:48
Missa Carminum
22 00:52
23 02:47
24 01:53
25 02:04
blue highlight denotes track pick