"accurate, immersive, beautiful": Gothic Voices' 'Echoes of an Old Hall' on Linn Records

4 October 2021

Gothic Voices have received excellent reviews for their latest disc 'Echoes of an Old Hall' for Linn Records. The group's fourth album for Linn features music from The Old Hall Manuscript, a collection of compositions from late-fourteenth- to early fifteenth-century England.

Echoes of an Old Hall has already received a prestigious 'Editor's Choice' accolade from Gramophone Magazine. You can read more about the disc here.

It bears recalling that the core cast of singers goes back to Page’s time; but the grain of the voices is fresh and subtly different – I was going to write ‘a touch mellower’, but then their keen edge can still take the breath away. In this the ensemble is backed by a sound image of great detail and immediacy, which truly captures the grain of the voices....
...Perhaps most unexpectedly of all, the account of Dunstable’s four-voice Veni Sancte Spiritus (one of the best-known, oft-recorded pieces of the 15th century) is unquestionably one of the finest yet made.
-Fabrice Fitch, Gramophone [Editor's Choice]

acerbic clashes and angular, thrusting lines are fashioned by these singers into a compelling sonic journey. The slightly later English style of sweet concordant harmonies (called by the Burgundians the ‘contenance angloise’) perfectly suits their expertise in close harmony, and their performances of Forest’s ‘Qualis est dilectus’ and Damett’s ‘Beata Dei genetrix’ are entrancing.
- Anthony Pryer, BBC Music Magazine

The combination of musical influences from the continent with the strongly indigenous elements of the Anglo-Saxon tradition make this repertoire a point of synthesis of extreme interest, which the four soloists of the Gothic Voices group enhance in an excellent way, also thanks to their perfect technical mastery and balanced amalgam of voices.
- Medioevo

The singing is classic Gothic Voices: accurate, immersive, beautiful ... Full of subtlety and beauty, there's plenty of solo plainchant but these are experienced singers invested with a timeless freedom that's really instructive. We can feel for ourselves how the English fashion affected Dufay's music and the last piece is a wonderfully resonant coda and a vivid performance.
- BBC Radio 3 Record Review

they display the easy nonchalance of true virtuosi. The rhythmical approach to the opening track demonstrates what I mean perfectly. There is not a hint of stiffness. And only a singer steeped in this music could attempt the almost improvisatory freedom of Catherine King’s Gregorian chant on track two.
So instead of excited discovery, feeling their way into the music, what we get is sublime confidence and, above all, a deep sense of love for this music.
- David McDade, Musicweb International

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