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Guillaume de Machaut: The Motets (Complete) - Ensemble Musica Nova [Import]

Guillaume de Machaut (Composer) , Ensemble Musica Nova Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)


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Product Details

  • Performer: Guillaume de Machaut (Composer), Ensemble Musica Nova
  • Audio CD (January 13, 2004)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Zig Zag Territories
  • ASIN: B00006RNHF
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #121,965 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. S'il estoit nulz/S'amours tous/Et gaudebit cor vestrum, motet for 3 voices
2. S'il estoit nulz/S'amours tous/Et gaudebit cor vestrum, motet for 3 voices
3. Qui es promesses de Fortune/Ha, Fortune! trop suis mis loing/Et non est qui adjuvet, motet for 3 voices
4. He, Mors, com tu es haïe/Fine Amour, quie me vint navrer/Quare non sum mortuus, motet for 3 voices
5. Fons tocius superbie/O livoris feritas/Fera pessima, motet for 3 voices
6. Aucune gent/Qui plus aimme/Fiat voluntas tua, motet for 4 voices
7. Tant doucement m'ont attrait/Eins que ma dame/Ruina, motet for 3 voices
8. Tant doucement m'ont attrait/Eins que ma dame/Ruina, motet for 3 voices
9. Maugre mon cuer/De ma dolour/Quia amore langueo, motet for 3 voices
10. Maugre mon cuer/De ma dolour/Quia amore langueo, motet for 3 voices
See all 18 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. De bon espoir/Puis que la douce/Speravi, motet for 3 voices
2. Dame, je sui cilz/Fins cuers doulz/(tenor), motet for 3 voices
3. Por Coi Me Bait Mes Maris
4. Lasse! comment oublieray/Se j'aim mon loyal/Pour quoy me bat mes maris?, motet for 3 voices
5. Felix virgo/Inviolata genitrix/Ad te suspiramus, motet for 4 voices
6. Trop plus est bele/Biaute paree/Je ne sui mie, motet for 3 voices
7. Helas! Pour quoy/Corde mesto/Libera me, motet for 3 voices
8. Amours qui ha le povoir/Faus samblant/Vidi dominum, motet for 3 voices
9. Quant en moy/Amour et biaute/Amara Valde, motet for 3 voices
10. Tous corps/De souspirant cuer/Suspiro, motet for 3 voices
See all 16 tracks on this disc

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
33 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A landmark recording of Machaut's music July 20, 2005
By Sator
Format:Audio CD
Machaut was born around 1300, presumably in Machaut, a village northwest of Reims. At the end of his life, poet and composer Guillaume de Machaut closely supervised the illumination of the manuscripts with his compositions. Most of these books containing an extraordinary variety of lavish miniatures can be found in the National Library of Paris. It appears that Machaut had his eye on prosterity in zealously collecting together his complete works in a manner unheard of amongst Medieval composers. The earliest of his motets can be dated to 1324. Many of them mix Latin and French texts in different voices though some are entirely in either French or Latin. In total 23 motets have been handed down to prosterity, nearly all of them are isorhythmic and they are all recorded here complete for the first time.

The Ensemble Musica Nova are part of the lively French early music scene with all of its greater expressive vibrancy and passion, that constrast markedly to the often chilly and reserved English performances. To add to the variety even more, the motets are played interspersed with alternative surviving instrumental dimunitions of the same motets that enrichen the musical experience greatly. Those accumstomed to the puritanically bland early music performances by English groups will find the results from this French group revelatory, with their exhibition of a far fuller palette of colour that recalls those rich illuminations that decorate his manuscripts. All of this helps to present a far more vigorous case for Machaut as one of the turly great composers of Western music.

The completeness and authoritativeness of the performances further extends to the use of period French pronounciation in the performances.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The mastery of Machaut August 27, 2006
By Russ
Format:Audio CD
Guillaume de Machaut (c.1300-1377) was the greatest composer of the 14th century, and was notable for composing "La Messe de Notre Dame" - the first mass that was entirely attributed to one composer.

Here we have the 23 motets of Machaut. Machaut's motets, like those from others in the medieval period, are usually written in three parts:

1). The tenor: the lowest voice, which usually sings a simple, short text, with very long duration given to each syllable, similar to that of plainchant, sung slowly
2). The duplum or motetus: the middle voice, which sings a separate text. This text usually takes the form of a poem, and is more ornamented than the tenor
3). The triplum: the highest voice, which sings its own text in a highly ornamented style

Machaut's motets follow the principle of isorhythm. In essence, this means that the tenor part is repeated multiple times using the same rhythm, but the proportion of the rhythm can be altered in each repetition.

Sounds pretty complicated, doesn't it? Well, it is, and it isn't. It is complicated in the sense that three separate texts, written in old French or Latin, are sung simultaneously. Some of the motets even combine the two languages together! But the underlying beauty of Machaut melodies often beguiles the ear, making you forget all of that is taking place. However, as I have listened to the motets repeatedly, I have come to appreciate how the intricate duplum and triplum voices play off one another and contrast against the unornamented tenor line. This music really is amazing and Machaut clearly was a master. I think certain of the motets are immediately appealing for their melancholy beauty (tracks 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 on disc one, and tracks 4, 5, 11, 12 and 15 on disc two).
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