ESTAMPIES + DANSES ROYALES SA
Plunging headlong into the sonorities and moods of a long-lost world, Hesperion charges each melody with invention and daring...Brilliantly engineered, the contrasts of colours, play with textures and mix of timbres infuse the disc with vitality. The uniqueness of this recording is equal to that of its source. --Berta Joncus, BBC Music Magazine
Jordi Savall's discs can always be relied on to widen listeners' musical horizons in the most enjoyable way possible, and this fascinating collection of dances from a French manuscript compiled around 1300 is no exception.
Each piece is given its own distinctive flavour with a scoring chosen from Hespèrion XXI's intriguing palette of instrumental colours, which include not only bowed and plucked strings, flutes and a panoply of percussion, but also dulcimer, hurdy-gurdy and a piquant pair of oboe-like chalemies.
Toe-tappingly compulsive rhythmic energy and exuberance, combined with improvisatory spontaneity, give the performances an appealing air of timelessness. --Elizabeth Roche, Daily Telegraph, 14 June 2008