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This wide-ranging collection of medieval music in honor of St Nicholas includes monophonic rondelli from Notre Dame in Paris, polyphonic conductus, and liturgical chant from his feast-day. In compiling this program, Budzinska-Benett has also retexted a few pieces to fit the recording’s theme, but only when she could identify that they were based on earlier chants for St Nicholas.

As in Ensemble Peregrina’s earlier recordings (M/J & J/A 2011, N/D 2012, J/A 2013, M/J 2014), the performances are excellent. Many of the tracks include improvised vielle accompaniments that are quite inventive but often very elaborate—they can detract from the elegance and clarity of the singing. The booklet is very informative both about the music and the rationale behind the performance and includes full texts and translations.

© 2015 American Record Guide
Charles Brewer

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