Complete catalogue



Guillaume de Machaut is, no doubt, a favourite medieval composer for all audiences, but even so his poetical and musical output is still not well represented in the discography. In this case his extraordinary poem, The Judgement of the King of Navarre, is presented together with a dazzling selection of motets, ballades and virelais whose expressive immediacy take us to the fascinating world of the 14th century.

The Ensemble Gilles Binchois celebrated its 20th anniversary back in 1999 with this first collaboration with the Cantus label choosing one of the longest and most beautiful poems by Machaut. The alternance of the reading (we prefer to say “performance”) of the poems, by an unsurpassed master like Jean-Paul Racodon, with the different musical pieces performed in vibrant, intense and passionate readings by the Ensemble Gilles Binchois, has a disturbing effect. All the strength of Machaut’s terrifying description of the Black Death years finds it perfect balance in the music chosen here; on the other hand, the delicacy of the love scenes is underlined by music of ravishing beauty: the powerful a cappella performance of the motets is quite unique, the poetry and sensuality of the ballades have rarely found more inspired performers, and the radiant vitality of the virelais becomes an impressive feast of rhythms, sounds and colours of startling beauty. To the quality of one of the best records ever made by the Ensemble Gilles Binchois we must add the immaculate sound achieved by the engineer, to make of this edition a real treasure of medieval music.


Ensemble Gilles Binchois

  • Dominique Vellard, director
  • A.M. Lablaude, voice
  • B. Lesne, voice, harp, tabor
  • A. Tachikawa, voice
  • D. Vellard, voice and gittern
  • E. Bonnardot, voice, medieval fiddle, rebec
  • P. Hamon, recorders, flutes, bagpipes
  • R. Cook, medieval fiddle, recorder
  • J.P. Racodon, reader


Total time 65:25

106-pages booklet with articles by Jacquiline Cerquiglini-Toulet, Francisco de Paula Cañas Gálvez,

Maricarmen Gómez Muntané y José Carlos Cabello.

Recorded at Eglise de Grancey, France, October 1994

Recording and editing Dominique Matthieu

Cover Vidal de Canellas, “An Aragonese king giving his judgement”, c 1300. J.P. Getty Museum, 83 MQ 165, fol. 72 v. Malibú, USA


10 de Répertoire (Répertoire, France)
Choc du Mois (Le Monde de la Musique, France)
Un événement exceptionnel (Télérama, France)
Recommandé du Mois (Classica, France)
*****/***** (Hi-fi & Video, France)
“E” de Excepcional (Scherzo, Spain)
R ***** (Ritmo, Spain)
***** (Diapason, Spain)

    ✋ Please adjust first the VOLUME control on the SPEAKER ⇓ before playing ▶

    O Livoris feritas / Fons totius superbie – Guillaume de Machaut (ca. 1300 – 1377)
    Puisque ma dolour – Guillaume de Machaut (ca. 1300 – 1377)
    Nes que on porroit les estoilles nombrer – Guillaume de Machaut (ca. 1300 – 1377)


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