One of the most grown-up review sites around
One of the most grown-up review sites around

Search MusicWeb Here


International mailing

Up to 40% off

  Founder: Len Mullenger

Some items
to consider

in the first division

extraordinary by any standards

An excellent disc

a new benchmark

summation of a lifetime’s experience.

Piano Concertos 1 and 2
Surprise Best Seller and now

A Garland for John McCabe


DIETHELM Symphonies

The best Rite of Spring in Years

BACH Magnificat

Brian Symphs 8, 21, 26

Just enjoy it!

La Mer Ticciati








Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical

Nimbus Podcast

Obtain 10% discount

Special offer 50% off

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
(THE Polish label)
Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off

Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Senior Editor
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
Editor in Chief
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger


CD: AmazonUK

Fantasiant: Music and Poetry for Ausiàs March
Jean VOISARD (VERDELET) (d. c.1440) La Verdelete [3:20]
Joan BRUDIEU (1520-1591) /Ausiàs MARCH (c.1397-1459) Fantasiant, Amor a mi descobre [2:11]
Anon. Amor, che t’o fatto io [3:01]
El cervel mi fa [3:02]
Zappay [lo campo] [1:45]
Joan BRUDIEU /Ausiàs MARCH Si fos Amor substança rahonable [3:21]
Joan (Johannes) CORNAGO (c.1400, fl.1453-1475) Moro perchè non day fede [4:04]
Enrique de PARÍS (d.1488) Mi querer tanto vos quiere [2:40]
Anon. Pase el agoa, ma Julieta [2:34]
Voca la galiera [2:01]
Joan BRUDIEU /Ausiàs MARCH Lir entre carts, lo meu voler se tempra [1:52]
Jean (Johannes) TINCTORIS (c.1435-c.1511) Vostre regart si très fort m’a feru [1:12]
Anon. Cor mio volonturioso, dura, dura! [4:06]
Dindirín, dindirindaña [2:23]
Correno multi cani ad una cazia [2:08]
Joan BRUDIEU /Ausiàs MARCH Ma volentat ab la rahó s’envolpa [2:39]
Anon. / Francesco GALEOTA O tempo bono, e chi me t’a levato [4:05]
Aliot NICHOLA Aliot nouvella [1:37]
Joan CORNAGO Morte o mercè, gentile aquil’ altera [3:48]
Anon. Chiave, chiave [1:22]
Joan BRUDIEU /Ausiàs MARCH Plena de seny, donau-me una crosta [2:29]
Anon. La basse dance du roy d’Espaingne [2:02]
La graçia de vos, donsella [4:10]
Alle stamenge, donne [3:10]
Pilar Esteban (soprano), Jose Hernández-Pastor (countertenor)
Capella de Ministrers/Carles Magraner
rec. Saló Alfons el Magnànim del Centre Cultural la Beneficiència (Valencia), 15-16 November, 2008. DDD.
Texts and translations included.
LICANUS CDM0927 [65:04]

Experience Classicsonline
This beautifully packaged multi-lingual book-with-CD is offered as a tribute to Ausiàs March. Born in the late 14th century, probably between 1397 and 1400, he was the son of the treasurer of the Duke of Gandia, from whom he inherited a fortune sufficient to enable him lead a life of leisure and to pursue his love of poetry. Though claimed in some quarters as the greatest European poet of the 15th century, most of his work, written in Catalan, is clearly influenced by Petrarch.

It’s slightly disappointing that his most original work, the Cant espirituel (see article by Robert Archer, Medium Ævum, 22 March, 1993) is not included here, though it is quoted in the notes. Five settings of his poetry are included, set to music by Catalan composer Joan Brudieu over a century after they were written. The rest of the music, taken from 15th and 16th-century songbooks, is designed to place March within his time. Very little of it is available in other recordings.

The enterprising nature of the programme and its execution is reminiscent of Jordi Savall’s Alia Vox recordings with La Capella Reial de Catalunya and/or Hespèrion XX and XXI; in fact, when I saw the book, I thought that it was one of their recent productions, which have been presented in a similar de luxe format. Actually, the Licanus book turns out to be less comprehensive than it first seems, since it is written in Catalan, Spanish, French and English.

Though you wouldn’t mistake the solo singers here for Señora Savall, alias Montserrat Figueras, the style and quality of the performance on this Licanus recording is worthy to be compared with those Savall recordings. The nearest thing in the Alia Vox catalogue is a 2-CD set entitled Alfons V El Magnanimo: Sacred and Secular Music from the Cancionero Montecassino (A9816A/B); the Montecassino song-book from which the music there is taken is one of the source books for the programme on the Licanus CD. Kirk McElhearn described the Alia Vox recording as ‘another refreshing glimpse of the musical past, recorded beautifully’ – see review. I haven’t heard it, and unfortunately it isn’t one of the Alia Vox recordings which can be downloaded from passionato at the time of writing, but a glance at the title listings suggests that there is very little overlap between the two recordings, apart from the almost inevitable basse danse, La Spagna and Dindirindin.

The Capella de Ministers (the Catalan word for minstrels) is an accomplished group; they have made several fine recordings for the Licanus label, including the Lamento di Tristan – Songs and Dances from the Medieval Period (CDM0307) which I recommended in my May 2020 Download Roundup – here – and Borgia: Music from the Time of Pope Alexander VI (CDM0616), both of which may be downloaded from in good mp3 sound. A warning that the download of the opening track of Lamento di Tristan is afflicted by pops and dropouts went missing from my review in May. Mea culpa. The rest of the programme is fine.

The style of performance of the Capella de Ministrers tends to be of the bright and cheerful variety, with forthright singing and plenty of instrumental accompaniment. Fans of David Munrow’s recordings with his Early Music Consort will react to it more favourably than those who prefer the more restrained style of Gothic Voices. The recording, too, is forthright, but that suits the music and the style of performance.

For all the care which has clearly gone into the production of the very attractive book, the English translations leave something to be desired: the idiom employed doesn’t always ring true and there are occasional downright mistranslations – Martin le Franc’s description of Joan Voisard (alias Verdelet) as nagueres trespassé, does not mean ‘recently trespassed’, as translated on page 81, but ‘who died recently’. The notes are, nevertheless, very valuable. The original texts, in Catalan, Italian, Provençal and Spanish, are given in the booklet, mainly with poetic, rather than literal English translations.

Unfortunately, there is not much information on Licanus’s website about their recordings, even if you can overcome the problem that it’s all in Catalan. You will find some information about their catalogue in the booklet of the current recording.

You can be sure that I shall be returning to this fascinating CD. It won’t be quite to all tastes, so I shun the temptation to make it my Recording of the Month, but I think there will be few who can resist its charms. It may well tempt you to move on to other Licanus recordings of the Capella de Ministrers – I shall certainly do so. I implied in May that the Tristan and Borgia CDs were not generally available in the UK, but I have since discovered that they and other Licanus recordings are available from Crotchet. Be aware, however, that their description of the music on the current CD as ‘typically Moorish’ is somewhat misleading.

Brian Wilson


Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews


      Composer surveys
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
Prepared by Michael Herman

The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site


Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure



Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Pat and present

Helpers invited!

How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips

Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Other links
Web News sites etc

A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools

Untitled Document

Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.