A salmagundi is a dish combining meat, fish, eggs, vegetables, fruit and nuts – a culinary hotchpotch of miscellaneous elements. Not necessarily the most appetising concept when it comes to dinner, but musically it’s made far more enticing in this musical salad of 14th-century music from Boston-based ensemble Blue Heron.

Blue Heron

With various prizes, including a Gramophone Award, under their belts, Blue Heron are one of America’s most reliably exciting Early Music groups. Recent focus has been on English repertoire, but now they cross the Channel for motets and virelais by Machaut, de Vitry, de Cruce, moving South for ballate and madrigals by Landini and de Bologna – intricate, experimental music emerging out of the swift-changing landscape of the 1300’s.

Metcalfe’s sleeve note makes clear that this is a program of chance – offcuts and morsels from other projects without any overarching theme or thread. The variety is exhilarating but frustratingly brief. At just 40 minutes this disc barely gets going before it’s over. But what...