|2. All Turns To Yesterday|
|3. Love Me Broughte|
|5. Ecci Mundi Gaudium|
|8. When Thy Turuf Is Thy Tour|
|9. Erthe Upon Erthe|
|10. Passing Thus Alone|
|11. La Volta|
|13. Swete Sone|
|14. So Spricht Das Leben (So Sayeth Life)|
|15. C'est La Fin|
|16. How Death Comes|
On the one hand, this is a technically highly proficient group of singers. On the other hand, they are the only people I have EVER run across who can make Latin sound sexy (think about it -- it had to be sexy to someone or else where did all those little Romans come from?).
Most of the work here is a capella, with a smattering of instruments in some of the peices to sort of "move it along". The importance here is the human voice in its glory. Fresher and less "academic" than Anonymous 4 (who are marvelous, don't get me wrong), you get the feeling that this is a group of ladies from, say, the 14th century having a sing-along who all just happen to be multi-lingual (Middle English, Old French, Latin).
There are many things I could say positively about this music, but the best way to judge it is to LISTEN to it. Try the sound clips. Better yet, get the album. Get some headphones. Light a couple candles. Pour yourself a nice glass of wine. Then fall into a dozen magnificent voices singing tales of beauty, sorrow, fear, and love.
Whoa, Mediaeval Baebes...
The thing which astonished me most about it was the congruence between the middle English lyrics and the original melodies to which they are set. Most of the songs on this album are not really medieval compositions, but they partake richly of that tradition. The Baebes keep things simple, letting their choral arrangements and personalities shine. One of the most stunning pieces, "Pearl", combines original music with an excerpt from a long poem (required reading in many medieval lit classes). These lyrics were never meant to be sung. Yet in the Baebes' hands, it sounds seamless and right, complex and energetic, equally appropriate for a Renaissance Faire, a choral concert, or a morning jog.
If you like your medieval music strictly authentic, the Mediaeval Baebes aren't for you. But I'm thrilled that a skilled vocal group is mining the rich, underappreciated lode of middle English poetry and creating something beautiful and relevant out of it. Bravo, Baebes.