"...incisive, ripe-toned and finely balanced": rave reviews for Gothic Voices' 'The Splendour of Florence' CD

18 May 2023

The medieval ensemble's latest disc 'The Splendour of Florence with a Burgundian Resonance' has been very warmly received by critics, which explores a collection of Franco-Flemish music that was found in or associated with Florence, showcasing Florence in all its splendour and lavishness,.

“Gothic Voices and veteran harpist Andrew Lawrence-King realise [the French chansons] with warmth and affection, retaining and revitalising the vintage Gothic Voices sound. The ensemble is incisive, ripe-toned and finely balanced, and the hypnotically repeating strains of the various rondeaux (including the mesmerising pan-European ‘hit’ De tous biens plaine) are subtly varied with different scorings and timbres – delicate as a fine French tapestry.”

Kate Bolton-Porciatti, BBC Music Magazine*****

“More than four decades since its foundation, the ensemble Gothic Voices – usually four voices, with occasional additions – has lost none of its finesse or gleam. Newer groups, inspired by their example, have sprung up since, but Gothic Voices’ performance of medieval music remains peerless. Their pioneering 1985 album of music by Hildegard of Bingen, A Feather on the Breath of God, remains the best (and bestselling) of its kind… Whether or not this music [from The Splendour of Florence] really mirrors the magical proportions of the city’s most famous landmark, it is certainly just as sublime.”

Fiona Maddocks, The Guardian

“Fifteenth century song recitals are rare enough for this recording to be welcomed with open arms, particularly as a few of these are, if not first performances, then the first by performers of this calibre thus”

Fabrice Fitch, Gramophone

“Atmospheric and of high quality, a program coordination from a sensitive and understanding hand. Once again, the Gothic Voices meet with approval. The completely unforced vocal art is beautiful in sound, without pretending to be beautiful, thanks to a lot of silence and space the music is not stifled, but can unfold freely. Perhaps unspectacular qualities in themselves, but they open up whole worlds. The occasional accompaniment this time is not a lute instrument, but the sometimes wonderfully buzzy harp sounds of Andrew Lawrence-King. (...) "The splendor of Florence - with a Burgundian resonance" is the apt title of this CD. While Brunelleschi's impressively large, completely cantilevered cathedral dome is considered the epitome of the Renaissance, the soundtrack comes from Northern Europe - made to resound by this terrific English vocal ensemble."

BR Mediathek

"A tribute to the place where people travelled from our regions to make music and gain recognition. The beautiful Florence of the past, by voices of the present."


“It's all done undogmatically, with that stylistic expertise that has always distinguished Gothic Voices. For these vocalists, such music is virtually their daily bread, and the interpretation is just as effective, carried by a high degree of naturalness. Every melodic phrase gets exactly the space it needs to blossom calmly. Nothing seems "made" or even pimped. The music breathes and flows, and this also applies to the few chorale pieces.


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