Johannes de LYMBURGIA. Gaude Felix Padua —
Le Miroir de Musique, Baptiste Romain
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Release: 14 June 2019
15 Jul 2019
Todd M. McComb
Continuing the early fifteenth century orientation from the previous entry (now, on average, involving music a little earlier), but this time around Burgundian-Italian music, I also want to highlight the recent Johannes de Lymburgia program, Gaude felix Padua, by Le Miroir de Musique. It continues what has often been a basic Burgundian orientation for the group, including around Italian sojourns (& hence performance practice, mainly heard as instrumental doubling in these interpretations): In particular, only Latin music by Lymburgia has survived (& calling it "sacred" isn't quite in keeping with later designations, as it's not all liturgical), and so this program is rather different from the group's earlier album devoted to the de Lantins, which is secular (mostly in French, including some Italian & Latin items — but not the surviving liturgical music).
Lymburgia had been illustrated on record only by an occasional short track elsewhere, and so this program reveals another distinctive, personal contrapuntal style (chronologically) between those of Ciconia & Dufay. (Besides the de Lantins, one might also compare e.g. to Brassart, who was apparently a somewhat younger contemporary: Perhaps he'll be subject of this group's next album? He & Lymburgia sometimes seem to collide in Buxheimer Orgelbuch style, if via the Codex Faenza in these interpretations....)
The program also ranges from mass movements to laude-derived strophic songs, orienting on the composer's time in Italy. The quirky style in evidence here might not have had much subsequent influence, particularly with Dufay becoming such a dominating figure (not to mention the English input in the wake of the Hundred Years War), but it does help to elaborate (once again) the musical concerns of the era. The group's handling of the different genres is also quite deft, involving a sense of lightness when appropriate, and fine articulation in general. The pieces aren't all of the most striking individual merit (with the Magnificat being perhaps the most individually distinctive), but the result does end up being both enjoyable & broadly illuminating e.g. of Dufay's context.