Faugues: Masses

Faugues 2: Paradise regained
Missa "L'homme armé" / Missa "Vinus vina vinum"
The Sound and the Fury
ORF 3115 (2 CDs)

Compared to the first recording devoted to Faugues by this ensemble, the command of the music is improved here, to an outstanding level. This pairing of masses is generally more appealing also, although it is not clear which of these programs might be preferred in isolation.

Faugues' music presents an interesting perspective on the mass cycle (and music generally) in the 1460s. Whereas it will probably never be a personal favorite, it is "pretty" music that had an important historical role in developing e.g. the parody mass. The cycles contain many appealing sequences, but do not really have the sort of linear development that makes so much Franco-Flemish music special. It is more like a set of individual scenes, unified more by direct repetition than development. Nonetheless, as stated, it is enjoyable to hear.

The performance is outstanding, perhaps The Sound and the Fury's best to date as far as pure interpretation. It is very clearly articulated, the harmonies come off very nicely, the phrasing & articulation are convincing, etc. Despite any technical weakness of the music itself, this item provides welcome perspective on mass cycles generally of this time.

To renaissance sacred list

Todd M. McComb