Design by Austin Boyer
“L’autre d’antan” – “Someone from yesteryear passed by the other day / And in passing pierced me / With a glance forged in Milan.” It’s obviously not a good idea to eat cherries with this lady. And that’s exactly what you can hear in Johannes Ockeghem’s setting, a rondeau that doesn’t mince words. The ensemble Cut Circle sings just as provocatively as the lyrics. The singers want to shake us up, to touch and move us with their interpretation. They gladly accept that the result is not always smooth or supple. It is more important to them to bring the core of these chansons to life and thus also to grab the audience. I think they do it very well. The next song, “Quant de vous seul,” begins tenderly before suddenly seeming to sink into anger. The text reads: “When I lose sight of you alone / By whom I am held so dear, / My pain then assails me so grievously / Then my heart nearly breaks / I am so overcome by sorrow.”
The singers have recorded all 22 songs by this Renaissance composer on two CDs on the Musique en Wallonie label—a wonderful treasure trove in which you can always discover new favorite pieces. One of the reasons for this is the individual singing style of this ensemble, which creates an emotional richness that is difficult to escape.