Cheeselords recording now available

Run, don’t walk, to your nearest web browser and place your order at Amazon for the first recording by the Suspicious Cheese Lords, Maestro di Capella: Music of Elzear Genet. Being a huge fan (and former member), I had to post a review. Here’s what I said:

Elzear Genet, also known as Carpentras, was a prolific composer in his day who is relatively little known and little recorded these days. Hopefully this recording will help to change that. The Cheese Lords have selected a program of a never before recorded mass (Missa “Se mieulx ne vient”) and previously unrecorded motets to inaugurate their recording series.

The recording, made at the Franciscan Monastery in Washington, DC, is spacious and resonant, but the ensemble’s precision and nuanced dynamics are in evidence throughout. The motets show off several facets of Genet’s musical style, from chant-influenced polyphony to the rhythmic, almost dancelike “Jubilate Deo” and the haunting “Haec est illa dulcis rosa.” The mass is largely without the contrasts in tempo or style that a Josquin or Byrd would have brought to the form, but the prismatic unfolding of the music from the stately Kyrie through the more urgent Credo into the resolute Agnus dei is still a glorious exemplar of the art. Highly recommended for a window into the music of this era.

(Disclaimer: I am a former member of the group, but have not sung with them for quite some time.)

One degree of separation

It’s a little humbling to realize you’re in the presence of someone great. Even one degree of separation from greatness can sometimes be intimidating. I just found out that one of my co-worker musicians from the pick-up band that played our holiday party is a recognized harmonica authority who once met Howlin’ Wolf. So not only do I know a world authority on the harp, I’m now only one degree removed from Howlin’ Wolf. Kind of a comforting thought.