Le Champion des Dames

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Program: #05-42, Air Date: 10/10/05

NOTE: Martin le Franc's Le Champion des Dames, presented to Duke Philippe of Burgundy in 1442, was the apotheosis of a vast debate in the late middle ages over the role and nature of women. Marcelo Ohara, director of the ensemble Continens Paradisi writes: "(Le Franc) organized his work as a great contradictory trial with prosecution and defence, and, of course, a final verdict in favour of the female sex; it is an enthusiastic rhetorical tour de force in which all his knowledge of the bar is deployed in the service of poetry."

Le Franc himself cites both Guillaume Dufay (1397-1474) and Gilles Binchois (c. 1400-1460) in the poem, who returned the favor by setting parts of the poem itself. The disc takes us through the poem with appropriate compositions by each composer. It is on the Ricercar label and is CD RIC 228. It is part of the "I Fiamminghi" series co-sponsored by the Flemish Cultural Ministry.
 
The program is sponsored in part by the Belgian Tourist Office and the Flemish Government at the Embassy of Belgium in Washington, D.C. For more information on visiting Belgium, you may contact the Belgian Tourist Office at: www.visitbelgium.com
 
 
Prologue
DUFAY: Bon jour bon mois ("Hail, fair month"--for New Years).
 
L'assault de Malebouche
BINCHOIS: Nous nous voyons bien malebouche ("We see you all too well"--challenge to the one who attacks Love's castle).
DUFAY: Donnes l'assault a la fortresse ("Launch the attack"--against the lady's fortress).
 
Cristine de Pizan
BINCHOIS: Dueil angoisseus ("Anguished mourning"--on a text of Cristine's).
DUFAY: J'ay grant dolour ("I have great sadness").
BINCHOIS: Adieu, adieu (song of lovers' parting).
 
L'Amour selon Brief Conseil  (Love, according to Malebouche's lawyer)
DUFAY: Se la face ay pale  ("If your looks grow pale").
BINCHOIS: Filles a marier  ("Girls, never marry").
 
L'Amour selon Le Champion (Love, according to the Champion)
DUFAY: Ce moys de May ("This month of May"--a call to lovers to rejoice).
BINCHOIS: Triste plaisir ("Sad pleasure, sorrowful joy").
DUFAY: Estrines moy ("Embrace me"--two lovers exchange vows at New Years).
 
Corps de femme (In praise of the feminine body)
DUFAY: Mon cuer me fait ("My heart makes me think every day of my lady").
BINCHOIS: Je loys mors
DUFAY: Quelle fronte signorille in paradiso (Meditating on his lover's brow, the poet is transported to Paradise).
 
Dufay et Binchois
DUFAY: Seigneur Leon.

Composer Info

Guillaume Dufay (1397-1474) , Gilles Binchois (c. 1400-1460)

CD Info

CD RIC 228