English music of the early Renaissance was marked by conservative techniques characteristic of the medieval or gothic period on the mainland. Thus the next two carols heard here are written in a style that was already antique on the continent at the time of their writing. A fairly florid top part often moves in parallel motion with the lower part, creating a special sound that is sometimes referred to as "English discant." Almost devoid of any attempt at textual expression, these carols nonetheless have a unique beauty, largely owing to the English predilection for the soft sound of the harmonic third.
- Andrew Morgan