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Japart was obsessed by polyphonic puzzles and his fascination with the quodlibet, and enigma canon, embraced the challenge of creating effective music that rises above mere form. It’s hard to judge from his tiny surviving output but eccentricities aside, one might claim Japart as a ‘great unknown’ – Josquin wrote a déploration for him, after all. The 19 very brief works on this disc are contextualised with music by Josquin, Obrecht, Busnois, Martini, de Vigne and Ghizeghem. The lively, technically accomplished ensemble of two singers and eight instrumentalists, in a variety of pleasing scorings, organise their programme with understanding and imagination, creating mini-suites from some works. The singing of mezzo Els Janssens-Vanmunster is expressive and committed. The recording is well-balanced and luminous. This may be slight and quirky, albeit charming, material from an obscure figure, but I can’t imagine another group managing to make much more of it.

Rebecca Tavener Read the full review on Agora Classica

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Early Music Today, 2012 - ©Rhinegold Publishing