From 1337 to 1453, France and England waged a ruthless combat, with
the Hundred Years War plunging Europe into violence and horror. Yet
far from the battlefields, spiritual and intellectual activity flourished.
More than ever, people prayed and sang. In England, despite a culture
profoundly marked by French taste, a school of composition specific
to the country developed at the end of the 13th century. Almost
everywhere in the realm, diverse works came into being, punctuating
and enlivening daily life. The program of the Céladon Ensemble spans
more than a century of music and alternates chants in Latin and songs
in English, frequently evoking the figure of the Virgin Mary. These
pieces of music, of simple construction and often of folk inspiration,
pack a powerful impact. They provide a vibrant illustration of the
variety of musical and poetic compositions of that troubled era, which
fluctuated between barbarity and naïveté.