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The Spirits of England and France - 2: Songs of the Trouvères - Gothic Voices Import

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Audio CD, Import, June 6, 1995
$7.45 $4.04

Editorial Reviews

Catchy popular tunes are not a modern invention. Neither are poet-musicians with uniquely poignant, pertinent comments about life and love. All these things were very much a part of life in 12th- and 13th-century France, represented in the vast repertoire of the trouveres (northern provinces) and troubadours (southern provinces). This disc explores a tiny fraction of trouvere songs exemplified in the grand chant,a protracted meditation on the fortunes of loving, the jeu parti,a debate concerning questions of love, the chanson de toile,a song women sang as they embroidered, the pastourelle, the descort, the balade, and dansa. Each of these types of song had a particular poetic form and subject. Five different singers, unaccompanied or variously joined by bagpipe, percussion, fiddle, or medieval lute, give engaging and musically solid interpretations that deserve serious attention by all lovers of early music and singing. --David Vernier

1. Pastourelle: Je chevauchai
2. Grand chant: Desconfortez, plains de dolor
3. Estampie
4. Grand chant: Quant define fueille et flor
5. Dansa: Donna pos vos ay chausida - Anonymous
6. Grand chant: De bien amer grant joie atent
7. Pastourelle: Quant voi la fleur nouvele - Anonymous
8. Grand chant: Delerousement comence
9. Balade: Un chant novel
10. Grand chant: Cil qui d'amours
11. Estampie
12. Descort: La doce pensee
13. Dansa: Amors m'art con fuoc am flama - Anonymous
14. Jeu Parti: Assenes chi, Grievilier - Adam De La Halle
15. Pastourelle: Por conforter mon corage
16. Estampie
17. Grand chant: Fins cuers enamoures
18. Chanson de tiole: Au novel tens pascor

Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 6, 1995)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Hyperion UK
  • ASIN: B000002ZVL
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #650,994 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Maddy Evil on March 3, 2010
Format: Audio CD
As far as the performances alone on this CD go, I can only quote a reviewer from the American Record Guide: 'This is quite simply the best recording ever of the Trouvère literature.' Both fans of and newcomers to Gothic Voices will be delighted by these interpretations, where 5 singers each take it in turn to perform examples, mostly unaccompanied, of the various Trouvère genres. Particularly noteworthy are the contributions from Rogers Covey-Crump, who is at his most sensuous on this disc, and Margaret Philpot, who ranges from the wistful to the declamatory. Similarly, you will be hard-pressed to find more intelligent and competent renderings of the estampies (MS du Roi), here played by Pavlo Beznosiuk (solo fiddle).

As always with Gothic Voices, the musicological justification for these performances is very strong. Yet whilst every performance decision here could be substantiated with evidence, it has to be said that the overall result is not entirely honest. Whereas the sparsity of documents referring to 'singing and playing' in 'High Style' Troubadour repertory (chansons, planhs, etc) enabled Christopher Page to adopt a rigid 'discontinuity' disclaimer (i.e. is the 'playing' simultaneous with, or subsequent to, the 'singing'...? Voices and Instruments of the Middle Ages: Instrumental Practice and Songs in France 1100-1300, London, 1987, p.19]), the larger frequency of such references to 'singing and playing' in Trouvère repertory forced him to concede that, in all likelihood, Trouvère 'High Style' chansons (grand chants) were sometimes accompanied by vielle/fiddle (p.30ff). So could we not have had just one 'High Style' chanson accompanied as such by Pavlo Beznosiuk...?
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By B. Marold HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on January 6, 2006
Format: Audio CD
'Songs of the Trouveres' in the 'The Spirits of England and France' series by the Gothic Voices, directed by Christopher Page is one of the better 'early music' recordings I have bought and heard.

The Trouveres were wandering performers in France who wrote and performed 'grand chant' songs in the vernacular. In contrast to liturgical and other devotional music, this was the 'soap opera' entertainment of the day, as this genre was all about 'a protracted meditation on the fortunes of loving'.

This group features one of the very few 'stars' of early music performances, the soprano Emma Kirkby who only appears on two tracks, accompanied by either percussion or medieval lute.

This recording does justice to this series, Gothic Voices, and Hyperion.
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 26, 1999
Format: Audio CD
I've got "The Medieval Romantics: French Songs and Motets 1340-1440" by Gothic Voices and it's great! It's on hyperion label and made in England if your interested.
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