CAPILLA FLAMENCA, MUSICIANS MAINLY FROM FLANDERS, PORTRAY CREATIVELY THE BRILLIANT MUSIC OF THE GOLDEN AGE OF POLYPHONISTS OF THE LOW COUNTRIES!
This is a quick race through the musical styles and composers of the dominent Franco-Flemish music of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. At that time, the region was the artistic hot-house of Northern Europe and Flemish musicians were among the best of their time and their services were highly prized. Like present-day football players they went to the highest bidder and these were to be found in England, Spain, Italy and almost anywhere else in Europe.
The twenty-two items on this recording then have a link with this region. Even that prolific writer 'anon', it seems, was Flemish. Most of the works are secular and are about one minute in length. They are predominantly vocal, with a few instrumental interludes that are often settings of then popular chansons. The English song "Pastime with good company" by Henry VIII is included because of links with a French chanson of the time. Thus we end up on this disc with a real mix-and-match selection of secular music, devotional works, love songs, court mourning songs and comedy songs with an assortment of languages. I found it all very refreshing and highly interesting to the Early Music Lover
The vocal and instrumental consort Capilla Flamenca recruits musicians mainly from Flanders in order to bring to life once more the brilliant music of the Golden Age of Flemish Polyphony. These highly skilled musicians have developed their own sound and style with unique programs that offer the modern music listener music that has largely remained unperformed for over 400 years.Read more ›
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The themes of this splendid recital of Music of the Flemish Renaissance cover a broad field of human emotions and preoccupations: religion, love, drinking, singing, morals and even politics.
The texts The love stories are a mixture of laments and praises of the loved one. She is ‘faultless in character’ in ‘My Mistress’ by J. Ockeghem or ‘I love him so dearly that it will never be possible to allow a new love into my heart’ in ‘Another love’ by the same composer. ‘Every hour I yearn for you’ is the title of a song by P. Verdelot. Religious themes are the subject of a Gregorian ‘Requiem’, a Kyrie from the Mass ‘La sol fa re mi’ by J. Desprez, an ‘Alleluya’ by A. Busnois and ‘Laus Deo’ (Praise of God) (Anon.), while drinking is celebrated in ‘Bacco, Bacco’ (Bacchus, Bacchus) by M. Rampollini and singing in ‘El Grillo’ by J. Desprez, where the cricket ‘only sings for the love of it’ (Art for art’s sake). Morality is the main topic in Henry VIII’s ‘Pastime with good company’ for ‘idleness is chief mistress of vices all’ and he admonishes himself: ‘My mind shall be virtue to use, vice to refuse’. Politics mixed with morality is the main subject of ‘Sergonta Bergonta’ (Little Sergeant, Little Shepherd) (Anon.) where ‘the world is ruled by women of pleasure.’ But, in ‘Ach Vlaendere vrie’ (Oh Flanders Free) the main call is a political one: ‘Flanders, you have been wronged in so many ways, defend yourself against oppression’.
The music Most of the scores are built on slow melodic lines (J. Ockeghem) together with slow imitations (P. de la Rue, P. Verdelot).Read more ›
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