flyleaves2Medieval English music that survived the Dissolution of the Monasteries

Once frequently sung in the monasteries and cathedrals of medieval England, much of this music has survived through the ages as fragments, solitary flyleaves, and endpapers hidden in the bindings of unrelated manuscripts—virtually lost to the ages. This lamentable state is primarily due to one man, Thomas Cromwell (Oliver’s great-great-great uncle), who presided over the Dissolution of the Monasteries as a result of Henry VIII’s 1534 Act of Supremacy. This program couples these once-lost treasures from the period’s most influential centers of musical activity – Durham, Fountains Abbey, Norwich, Bury St. Edmunds Abbey, and the cosmopolitan court of Edward III – with those found in the only complete codex written in the British Isles since the 11th century, the Old Hall Manuscript. 

“The singing is responsible, tasteful, and unfailingly artistic, with lovely balancing and blending of voices. Those who may regret the dismantling of Anonymous 4 would do well now to embrace Liber unUsualis. . . . This plucky little ensemble is a treasure to nurture.” — American Record Guide