Colton, Lisa (2014) Fifteenth-Century Liturgical Music, VIII: Settings of the Gloria and Credo. Ed. by Peter Wright.The Eton Choirbook: Facsimile and IntroductoryvStudy. Ed. by Magnus Williamson. Songs in British Sources c.1150–1300. Ed. by Helen Deeming. Music and Letters, 95 (4). pp. 648-650. ISSN 0027-4224

The three volumes under review represent a relatively recent stage in the transmission of medieval and early Renaissance repertory. The Eton Choirbook was copied between c.1500 and 1504; the journey of its contents had begun a few decades earlier, when pieces were gradually devised and performed before their selection for one of the most glorious of illuminated manuscripts to have survived the deliberate acts of cultural destruction that characterized the sixteenth century. The Eton Choirbook can be linked palaeographically, and functionally, with Eton College, and its music reflects activities and liturgical priorities there from the 1440s. A monument of choral music at its inception, Williamson’s facsimile edition reproduces the sense of pride that was evidently a driving factor in the original commission and copying of the volume. Although a few pieces listed in its index have not survived, the facsimile demonstrates the coherence of the codex and the value placed upon its purpose: honouring the Blessed Virgin Mary.

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