The 15th and 16th centuries were the golden age of Flemish polyphony. Dufay, Josquin, Isaac and many others were among the composers most celebrated in the major courts of Europe. In terms of both their methods and their musical output, these composers transmitted a style characterised by complex counterpoint and a remarkable sense of musical architecture. Ludwig Senfl had the highest regard for these qualities. Under the influence of his teacher Heinrich Isaac, he made the Flemish idiom his own, while adding to it obvious personal touches.
Making the present selection has brought home to us what a privilege it is to be able to choose from an output of such quality – yet how frustrating it is to have to do so! We have done no more than lift one small corner of the veil beneath which Senfl’s masterly oeuvre lies hidden. Nearly 500 years after his death, a large part of his output remains consigned to musical history, completely unknown to both music-lovers and performers. We hope that this recording will demonstrate how unjustly Senfl’s reputation has been obscured by that of his teacher Isaac; for us, his music has been a revelation and a source of huge musical pleasure.