Antoine Busnois was one of the important representatives, alongside Gilles Binchois and Guillaume Dufay, of the Burgundian School, the earliest phase of what is known as the Franco-Flemish school. This disc presents a range of his music: one of the two polyphonic mass ordinaries securely attributed to him (another eight surviving masses have been less firmly linked to him), several chansons (including rondeau, ballade, virelai and double-text forms) from the seventy-five he wrote, plus two motets & one chanson-motet attributed to Busnois by modern researchers on a stylistic basis.
The quartet of the Orlando Consort, countertenor Robert Harre-Jones, tenors Mark Dobell & Angus Smith, and baritone Donald Greig have been one of the finest interpreters of medieval and Renaissance music it has been our privilege to hear. Whether chanson, motet or mass, they deliver these pieces in a sprightly and vivacious manner and convey a sheer joy at performing them.
Like all these Musique d'abord releases, it is a basic package in a thin foldout sleeve with minimal booklet providing the briefest of notes on the programme and Busnois' life and work, with no sung texts provided. Nevertheless it is a welcome re-issue showcasing this important figure in the development of the European musical style of the early Renaissance. Those interested should also check out the excellent disc by the Binchois Consort Busnois/Domarto: Missa "L'homme armé" et. al.