France and the Lowlands in the Late Middle Ages

Program: #21-46   Air Date: Nov 08, 2021

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Love songs of Guillaume de Machaut; the new Ensemble Gilles Binchois recording of Dufay; and 15th century music from the Cancionero de Segovia.

I. Guillaume de Machaut: Mon chant vous envoy (Marc Mauillon, Pierre Hamon, et al.). Eloquentia CD EL 1342.

Machaut: Mon Chant vous envoy Product Image

Marc Mauillon (voice), Angélique Mauillon (harp, viele), Vivabiancaluna Biffi (voice & viele), Michaël Grébil (lute), Catalina Vicens (organetto), Varlo Rizzo (tambourine) & Pierre Hamon (medieval flutes, direction)

Following "The amourous Torment" and "The Remedy of Fortune," two records unanimously praised by critics, the team formed in 2005 by Pierre Hamon around the exceptional singer Marc Mauillon continues to work on the work of the great French musician-poet of the 14th century, Guillaume de Machaut.

This project is the logical continuation from the previous two. Songs, virelais, ballads and roundels of Guillaume de Machaut are the culmination of the poetic art of courtly love, whose melodies are part of our memory and our psyche. Marc Mauillon is an exceptional talent even in the current environment of medieval music and these melodies 700 years on still maintain an impact.

With “Mon chant vous envoy”, Marc Mauillon, Pierre Hamon, Vivabiancaluna Biffi and Angélique Mauillon continue their fascinating adventure, shedding new light with imagination and precision on one of the greatest European musicians of the Middle Ages: Guillaume de Machaut.
How is it that more than 700 years later these sequences of notes can have such an impact? This is a mystery. Although the original lyrics often seem overwrought, the music is extraordinarily fresh. These works are so modern that audiences of today can appreciate them exactly as they are, without any need for updating. This music reveals above all the soul of a poet whose words are amazingly close to our own sensibilities, an unquiet soul questioning destiny, the mysteries of fate and the torments of love, while looking to heaven but finding no certainty.
Virelais, ballades and rondeaux represent the aspect of Guillaume Machaut’s music that is still too little known, music that is all too often regarded as intellectual and not easy to approach. Granted, he was the first composer to write pieces of a virtuosity and intellectual ambition comparable to J. S. Bach’s The Art of Fugue (“Ma fin est mon commencement”). But he also composed folklike miniatures (“Douce dame jolie”). There is no oversentimentality in these works, which mark the culmination of the poetic art of courtly love, whose melodies are so incredibly alive, a part of our memory, our psyche, awakening the passions and anxieties of that tormented age, the fourteenth century, when, on a background of war and epidemics, were expressed such intense intellectual speculation, such a wonderful thirst for living. After devoting thorough research to the poet’s language and much thought to the text, after discussing the matter with linguists and musicologists specialising in this period, the performers gathered around Marc Mauillon and Pierre Hamon were ready to present these pieces. They restore all the modernity and the timelessness of these songs written by France’s first “singer-songwriter”, in the modern sense of the term.
4. J'aim mieux languir, 2:37
6. Dou mal qui m'a longuement, 4:12
12. Se ma dame m'a guerpi, 4:36
13. Et musique est une science, 1:13
14. Loyauté weil tous jours, 0:42

II. Dufay: Le prince d’amours (Ensemble Gilles Binchois/Dominique Vellard). Evidence CD EVCD082.

Dufay: Le Prince d'Amours
In the courts of the 15th century, music was a constant companion. The chanson was a daily pleasure, a vehicle for poetry and passion, a remedy for pain and sublimated the richness of amorous relationships. The chanson was perhaps the musical form in which Dufay, despite being a man of the Church, best expressed his immense talent. He was seen as an absolute master among his peers, owing to the perfection of his writing and it's intense expressiveness, and he enriched the history of music with a masterly oeuvre that went far beyond the stylistic boundaries of the time. His 80 chansons show great diversity and allow us to appreciate the constant evolution of the aesthetic of the genre. The Ensemble Gilles Binchois present a program of 2 selections in which courtly love finds it's most beautiful expression and refinement.
1. Par droit je puis bien complaindre et gemir, 3:30
2. Dona gentile, bella come l'oro, 4:34
3. Belle, que vous ay je mesfait, 2:22
4. Les douleurs dont me prends tel somme, 5:07
5. L'alta belleza, 2:43
6. Je ne suy plus tel que souloye, 2:25
7. Adieu m'amour, adieu ma joye, 5:22
8. He compaignons, resvelons, 2:31
9. Ce moy de may soyons lies et joyeux, 3:43
10. Estrinez moy, je vous estrineray, 3:40
11. Ce jour le doibt, aussi fait la saison, 4:01
12. Ne je ne dors, ne je ne veille, 5:35,
13. Resvelons nous, resvelons amoureux / Alons ent bien tos au may, 0:45
14. Pour l'amour de ma doulce amye, 3:51
15. Mille bonjours je vous presente, 2:24
16. En triumphant de Cruel Dueil, 5:52
17. Adyeu, quitte le demeurant, 1:59
18. Je me complains piteusement, 2:23
19. Franc cuer gentil, 1:50
20. Mon chier amy, qu'avés vous empensé

III. Mundus et musica (Qualia Ensemble). Carpe Diem CD-16294.

On their first CD, QUALIA presents a collection of polyphonic music from late medieval sources, especially from manuscripts around the year 1500. In a very short period of time around the turn of the 15th century, the European music culture changed from the ancient phytagoreic to meantone temperament and created some astounding, highly complex and intellectually as well as musically challenging works, taking inspiration from both old and modern musical influences. QUALIA lets the listener immerse into an almost alien musical world, into the deep roots and sources of being of European music history, which in today’s perception is almost lost completely.
1. Tandernac, Antoine Brumel, 02:58

Composer Info

Guillaume de Machaut, Antoine Brumel, Alexander Agricola, Bartolomeus Ramis de Pareia, Johannes Tinctoris, Johannes Ockeghem, Johannes Tinctoris, Fray Benito, Magister Gulielmus, Hayne van Ghizegen, Alexander Agricola, Loyset Compère,

CD Info

Eloquentia CD EL 1342, Evidence CD EVCD082, Carpe Diem CD-16294