Ars Subtilior and Solage–The Transition from Late Medieval to the Renaissance

Program: #07-18    Air Date: Apr 23, 2007

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The time after Machaut's death was marked by unusual complexities of rhythm, notation, and text called Ars Subtilior--a new disc by the Gothic Voices focuses on the shadowy figure of "Solage," active in French court circles in the 1380s. Not only are some of the pieces recorded of the first time, this disc adds ten works never before attributed to the oeuvre of Solage on stylistic grounds.


III. The Unknown Lover--Songs by Solage and Machaut  


( Gothic Voices).  Avie CD #AV 2089. The period following the death of Machaut was marked by complexities of rhythm and notation that give the period the name Ars Subtilior. The most well-known composer of this period is Johannes Ciconia, a native of Liège who worked in northern Italy. His complete works have been recorded. (So also Jacob de Senleches, all six pieces on a L’Oiseau-Lyre LP.) His contemporaries are generally represented by single works in collections, including Andrieu’s lament for Machaut, Baude Cordier’s Belle bonne sage, Vaillant’s Par maintes foys, Grimace’s A l’arme, a l’arme, and Solage’s Fumeux fume par fumé. Solage (fl. 1380s) is a name found on ten songs in the sumptuous Codex Chantilly (which is about to appear in a gorgeous facsimile edition). Solage was active in French court circles in the 1380s; indeed, the Codex Chantilly was created for Jean duc de Berry, the king’s art-loving brother. This recording adds to the ten attributed works two other songs from the same source that Gothic Voices attribute to him on stylistic grounds. The disc is filled out with six songs by Machaut. The songs of Solage use the three fixed forms of the 14th century –  ballade, virelai and rondeau. The selections by Machaut also exemplify all three of these forms. Several of these songs – one of Machaut and two of Solage – are recorded here for the first time.  SOLAGE: La Basile ("It is the nature of the basilisk to kill").

MACHAUT: Mors sui,  se je ne vous voy ("Dead I am if I do not see you").

SOLAGE: En l'amoureux vergier ("In Love's orchard I saw a flower").

MACHAUT: Quant je sui mis au retour ("When I have returned from seeing my lady").

SOLAGE: Tres gentil cuer ("Most noble heart, loving and welcoming").

SOLAGE: Fumeux fume par fumee ("Out of dreams* the dreamer dreams up")--*literally "smoke"

SOLAGE: Joieux de cuer ("In my dreams I was glad at heart").

MACHAUT: Dame, se vous m'estes lonteinne ("Lady, even if you are far from me").

Anon. (SOLAGE?): Adieu vous di ("I bid you farewell, o sweet company").

MACHAUT: Plus dure que un dyamant ("Harder than a diamond").

SOLAGE: Corps feminin ("The female body is a gift from nature").

SOLAGE: S'aincy estoit ("Were it not for the noble actions of Jehan, Duc de Berry").

SOLAGE: Pluseurs gens ("I see many people who fill their heads with thoughts of dressing well").

MACHAUT: Douce dame, tant que vivray ("Sweet lady, for as long as I live").

Anon. (SOLAGE?): Le mont Aon de Trace ("Mount Aon in Thrace, a sweet land").

MACHAUT: Se je souspir parfondement ("If I sigh deeply").

SOLAGE: Calextone, qui fut dame ("Calextone, who was a mortal lady").

MACHAUT: Dieus, Biaute, Douceur, Nature ("God, Beauty, Sweetness, and Nature").

SOLAGE: Helas! je voy mon cuer ("Alas! I see my heart about to beat its last").



Composer Info

Guillaume de Machaut, (c. 1300-1377), Johannes Ciconia, Solage (fl. 1380s), Guillaume Dufay (1397-1474), Antoine Busnois (c. 1430-1492), NICOLAES CRAEN (d. 1507), ADRIAN WILLAERT (c.1490-1562), JACQUES or NICHOLAS CHAMPION, NOEL BAULDEWEYN,

CD Info

CD # 1823, CD # ZZT 021002, CD #AV 2089, CD #ZZT 050301, #HMU 907333, #CDA 67183,

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