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La Printans

4.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Audio CD, December 10, 1996
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$50.36 $11.99

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

You can either listen to this recording and just enjoy the sound of these engaging, vibrant, rhythmically interesting chansons--or, you can get into the details of the origin and construction of this unique collection. Le Jeune was a member of an elite group of musicians and poets in 16th-century Paris, led by poet Jean-Antoine de Baif. To oversimplify, Baif wanted to join poetry and music in a very refined, highly specific manner, concentrating on different kinds of metrical accents, alternating long and short stresses. His poems under the title Le Printans were written with this in mind--and Le Jeune developed a special compositional technique to complement the texts and to illustrate these aesthetic principles. Whether or not you care about the underlying structure of the music, the results displayed in these exceptionally polished performances are striking, especially in the clarity of the lines and the range of expression. --David Vernier

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Le Printans: Revecy venir du printans
  2. Le Printans: Voicy le verd et beau May
  3. Le Printans: O Roze reyne des fleurs
  4. Le Printans: Ie l'ay, ie l'ay la belle fleur
  5. Le Printans: Cigne ie suis de candeur
  6. Le Printans: Perdre le sens devant vous
  7. Le Printans: La brunelette violette reflorit
  8. Le Printans: L'un emera le violet
  9. Le Printans: D'un coeur fier le refus cruel
  10. Le Printans: Que null' etoille sur nous
  11. Le Printans: Ces amoureus n'ont que douleur et tourment
  12. Le Printans: La bele gloire, le bel honeur doner


Product Details

  • Audio CD (December 10, 1996)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sony
  • ASIN: B000002BZR
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #551,621 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Top Customer Reviews

This is a single-CD selection of twelve chansons from 'Le Printemps' - or 'Le Printans' in the spelling of its time - a cycle of 5-voice chansons by Claude Le Jeune (c. 1528-1600) to poems mostly by Antoine de Baïf. The texts are about much more than just spring, extending to nature in general, love, life and the human condition. Le Jeune's music is remarkable in its responsiveness to the content and linguistic rhythms of the poetic texts, and results in a fine combination of music and poetry, full of charm, feeling and expressive subtlety.

Paul Van Nevel, and eight voices from his Huelgas Ensemble, bring us a beautiful performance of this music, with pure, clear voices accompanied in places by discreet and delicate instrumental parts. Textures are varied between verses, with different voices and with instruments in some of the pieces. Altogether the performers produce a most beautiful sound, express the texts with sensitivity and make a very convincing attempt to apply the presumed French pronunciation of the period.

This is altogether a lovely recording, ever so much better than the wobbly vocal sound in the only complete version of 'Le Printemps' from the Ensemble Jacques Feuillie, made in 1975 Claude Le Jeune: Le Printemps. Van Nevel's own booklet notes are outstanding, and all texts and translations are provided. Recorded sound and balance are excellent. What a pity Van Nevel didn't record the whole thing (hence the loss of one star), because a decent modern recording in good style would be most welcome. For the time being, this present selection is becoming extremely hard to find and surely deserves to be reissued.
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This is a classic. There are a few recordings of LeJeune's Le Printans but with no doubt this is the most perfect recording ever, not only about LeJeune's repertoire but about renaissance french chansons.
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This is a wonderful recording of one of the best early music groups on top form. I thoroughly recommend this CD - it is one of my favourites.
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