LANDINI L’Occhio del Cor
With over 20 CDs of medieval music to their name, the (Italian) group La Reverdie are certainly well placed to do an entire CD of Landini; and on the present showing perhaps they are the people best equipped to record the complete works of Landini, still a major lacuna in the catalogue. That is because they do everything with verve and commitment, giving each piece its own colour and meaning. To say that their performances are technically flawless is perhaps to miss the point, but that helps everything to work. On the other hand, to my ears, the two most successful pieces are L’alma mie piang’e and Muort’oramai, in which the sisters Caffagni and Elisabetta De Mircovich sing alone, as they have been doing for over 30 years in public: there is a quality of musical exchange, of understanding where the pressure-points must come and of clear projection that is a rare pleasure to hear.
For this issue they have the welcome addition of Christophe Deslignes, organetto player extraordinary, who contributes magnificently to the ensembles and plays the Faenza codex arrangements of Non arà may pietà and Che pena è questa al cor, sticking very closely to what is in the manuscript (warts and all).
My only complaints are that the (unsigned) English translation of Davide Daolmi’s interesting note is not very good and that the texts are printed so small that I had to use a magnifying glass.