Classical The best music site on the web there is where you can read about and listen to blues, jazz, classical music and much more. This is your ultimate music resource. Tons of albums can be found within. Mon, 04 Mar 2024 12:28:13 +0000 Joomla! 1.5 - Open Source Content Management en-gb Guillaume de Machaut - Messe de Notre Dame (1993) Guillaume de Machaut - Messe de Notre Dame (1993)

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1. Messe de Notre Dame: Kyrie
2. Messe de Notre Dame: Gloria
3. Messe de Notre Dame: Credo
4. Messe de Notre Dame: Sanctus And Benedictus
5. Messe de Notre Dame: Agnus Dei
6. Messe de Notre Dame: Ite Missa est
7. Le Lai de la Fonteinne: Je ne cesse de prier...
8. Le Lai de la Fonteinne: Et ou porroit on querir...
9. Le Lai de la Fonteinne: C'est celle qui par ordonnance...
10. Le Lai de la Fonteinne: Ces trois un a po de peinne....
11. Le Lai de la Fonteinne: Et qui de ceste eaue prendroit...
12. Le Lai de la Fonteinne: Mais ceste trinite...
13. Le Lai de la Fonteinne: De la duis le Pere nomme...
14. Le Lai de la Fonteinne: Et pour ce di que cil troy...
15. Le Lai de la Fonteinne: Pour ce te pri...
16. Le Lai de la Fonteinne: Mais de tel confort...
17. Le Lai de la Fonteinne: He! fonteinne de concorde...
18. Le Lai de la Fonteinne: Pour laver et nettoier...
19. Ma fin est mon commencement: Rondeau

The Hilliard Ensemble
Paul Hillier – conductor


The Mediaeval Frenchman Guillaume de Machaut is one of those composers who shaped the course of musical history most significantly. He wrote some of the earliest known polyphonic pieces of vocal music, as well as writing astonishing poetry for his own semi-sacred songs or 'lais.' On this disc, the Hilliard Ensemble present three of his most representative works, all well worth exploring.

The "Messe de Nostre Dame" (not specifically written for performance in the Paris Cathedral of that name) is a stunning piece with which to open the programme. The impeccably clear-toned voices of the Hilliards etch out Machaut's austere lines with blazing intensity, revelling in the strangely dissonant cadences and dexterous interplay of parts that are the hallmarks of his polyphony. The performers use a quaint form of pronunciation for the Latin, one that (supposedly) re-creates the Mediaeval French flavour with which the listeners of seven centuries ago would have been familiar. This work alone is worth the price of the disc: it makes for rewarding and memorable listening.

The "Lai de la Fonteine" is a simpler work, yet strangely harder to grasp on first hearing. Machaut sets his own text here: a complicated and extensive hymn in praise of the Virgin Mary, using endless metaphors and subtle imagery to create an advanced form of poetry around which music is woven. The music itself is quite simple, doing seemingly little more than to carry the poetry for the listener: much of it is monophonic, with verses being shared amongst three singers who come together for polyphonic sections every so often. The work is best heard complete; much is lost in sampling it although the tracks are conveniently divided to give the listener a choice in the matter. Machaut was clearly a mysterious person - religious yet close to the secular; it shows through in such works as this 'lai.'

The disc closes with a final example of rich-blooded polyphony, again using just three voices, and moreover a sample of Machaut's extraordinary genius. "Ma fin est mon commencement" sets a poem that is crafted as a sort of palindrome (indeed, the second phrase is "et mon commencement est ma fin" - "My end is my beginning and my beginning is my end"). The music is equally well crafted to counterpart the words - three voices, winding their way through repetitive and yet fluid lines as if through some sort of musical jigsaw puzzle. It is a delightful end to a wonderful programme. If you're looking for a sample of Machaut but can only afford one disc, then this has to be the one. Mediaeval music is rarely so well displayed as it is here! ---Mark Swinton,

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]]> (bluesever) Machaut Guillaume de Thu, 10 Oct 2013 16:07:33 +0000
Guillaume de Machaut - Mon chant vous envoy (2013) Guillaume de Machaut - Mon chant vous envoy (2013)

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01.Quant je sui mis au retour	02:46
02.Comment qu’à moy lonteinne	 04:42
03.Puisqu’en oubli suis de vous, dous amis	02:05
04.J’aim mieux languir	02:37
05.Plourez, dames, plourez vostre servant	07:32
06.Dou mal qui m’a longuement		04:12
07.Dix et sept, cinq, trese, quatorse et quinse	03:34
08.Dame, vostre dous viaire 	06:05
09.Phyton, le mervilleus serpent 	06:12
10.Amours me fait désirer	02:16
11.Amours me fait désirer (Instrumental) 	04:41
12.Se ma dame m’a guerpi	04:36
13.Et musique est une science 	01:13
14.Loyauté weil tous jours	00:42
15.Liement me deport	05:38
16.J’aim sans penser laidure 	02:10

Marc Mauillon (voice), 
Angélique Mauillon (harp, viele), 
Vivabiancaluna Biffi (voice & viele), 
Michaël Grébil (lute), 
Catalina Vicens (organetto), 
Varlo Rizzo (tambourine) 
Pierre Hamon (medieval flutes, direction)


Following "The amourous Torment" and "The Remedy of Fortune," two records unanimously praised by critics, the team formed in 2005 by Pierre Hamon around the exceptional singer Marc Mauillon continues to work on the work of the great French musician-poet of the 14th century, Guillaume de Machaut. This project is the logical continuation from the previous two. Songs, virelais, ballads and roundels of Guillaume de Machaut are the culmination of the poetic art of courtly love, whose melodies are part of our memory and our psyche. Marc Mauillon is an exceptional talent even in the current environment of medieval music and these melodies 700 years on still maintain an impact.


The main virtue of this enjoyable CD is the time the performers allow for Machaut’s music to unfold… The playing on a variety of wind, stringed and keyboard medieval instruments is beautifully idiomatic and enigmatic, while the lazy and apparently effortless singing style is equally effective. ---

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]]> (bluesever) Machaut Guillaume de Wed, 14 Oct 2015 16:05:56 +0000
Guillaume de Machaut - The Mirror of Narcissus (1987) Guillaume de Machaut - The Mirror of Narcissus (1987)

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1. Dame, de qui toute ma joie vient - ballade
2. Foy porter - virelai
3. Dame, je sui cilz-Fins cuers doulz - motet
4. Tuit mi penser - virelai
5. Dame, mon cuer en vous remaint - rondelet
6. Dame, a qui - virelai
7. Biaute qui toutes autres pere - ballade
8. Je vivroie liement - virelai
9. Rose, liz, printemps, verdure - rondeau
10. Dame, a vous sans retollir - virelai
11. Amours me fait desirer - ballade
12. Douce dame jolie - virelai
13. Inviolata genitrix-Felix virgo-Ad te suspiramus – motet

Emma Kirkby (soprano)
Gothic Voices
Christopher Page (conductor)


The story of Narcissus, who fell in love with his own reflection, fascinated medieval courtiers, for narcissism was the essence of court life and art. All was self-regarding, luxuriant, elitist; and few courtly artists were more concerned with their own reflection than the celebrated poet and composer Guillaume de Machaut.

We know a good deal about the man who looked into the mirror. He was born around 1300, and his career opened with high affairs and travel when he joined the household of John of Luxembourg, King of Bohemia, c1323. He served the king as his secretary until the disaster at Crécy where the chivalrous monarch was slain. During these years of service Machaut became established as a leading poet (one of his foreign admirers was Geoffrey Chaucer) and as the foremost composer of the French Ars Nova. Some time around 1340 he took up a canonry at Rheims—perhaps moving into the spacious house on the Rue de la Pourcelette (now the Rue d’Anjou) which he is known to have occupied in 1372—and until his death his services were sought by the highest patrons of France including John, Duke of Berry, and Charles of Navarre, the future King Charles V.

Machaut wanted his life’s work to be seen as one luxurious artefact of poetry and music, and he arranged for it to be copied as such—an exceptional thing for a fourteenth-century composer to have done. When we turn the pages of the manuscripts which descend from Machaut’s own ‘livre’ we see luminescent paintings, page after page of fine penwork lavished on music and poetry of the highest finish—calligraphic beauty enveloped in an aura of latent sound. Machaut looked into the mirror of Narcissus and an idealized, gilded image of the lover-artist looked back. Machaut fell in love with the reflection and his passion drove him through a long and immensely productive life.

By the standards of any age, Machaut is a compelling and extraordinary composer. His harmonies range from the mellifluous, through the exotic, to the bizarre; rich chords alternate with pungent dissonances which often resolve in the most unexpected ways; his melodies surge and leap. All of these things make him perhaps the most difficult composer of the Middle Ages, but also one of the most enticing; he has so much in common with the composers of today. ---Christopher Page,

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]]> (bluesever) Machaut Guillaume de Fri, 06 Sep 2013 15:58:49 +0000
Guillaume de Machaut – Dreams In The Pleasure Garden (Chansons) [1998] Guillaume de Machaut – Dreams In The Pleasure Garden (Chansons) [1998]

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1 	Tant Doucement 	5:00
2 	Comment Puet On 	4:29
3 	De Fortune 	5:53
4 	Mors Sui 	5:05
5 	Se Quanque Amours 	5:58
6 	Je Ne Cuit Pas 	5:20
7 	Liement Me Deport 	7:04
8 	Je Puis Trop Bien 	4:17
9 	Certes Mon Oueil 	5:37
10 	En Amer A Douce Vie 	5:58
11 	He! Dame De Valour 	3:36
12 	Une Vipere 	6:33
13 	Ma Fin Est Mon Commencement 	6:16
14 	De Toutes Flours 	6:46

Orlando Consort:
Angus Smith (Tenor)
Charles Daniels (Tenor)
Robert Harre-Jones (Countertenor)
Donald Greig (Baritone)


Machaut: Chansons by the Orlando Consort in Archiv Production's Al Fresco series -- a series of reissues to celebrate Archiv's 60th anniversary -- was originally issued in 1998 as Dreams in the Pleasure Garden. This new edition is emblazoned with a blurb from the magazine Gramophone that "Nothing quite like this has happened before; a disc devoted entirely to Machaut's songs, all performed with voices alone." Nevertheless, in the LP era it was more common for unaccompanied singers to record Machaut than to present his songs with instrumental groups, as is the habit in the CD era, it's just that their voices were not as pure or well intoned as those of the Orlando Consort. Nor were the older groups' command of Machaut's archaic form of French necessarily as well handled, not even by French groups. The monophonic song "Liement me deport" is just that; sung by a solo singer without drones or other distractions from the purity of Machaut's melodic line, it's a good way into this project as a whole.

This program contains 14 of Machaut's chansons, generally adjudged the finest extant from the fourteenth century and among the earliest examples of purely secular polyphonic music. All but one of the chansons is based on courtly texts that alternatively praise and damn the "noble lady" variously for her sweet nature, capriciousness, pleasing graces, and seeming predisposition toward evil. The one exception is the famous "Ma fin est mon commencement" (My end is my beginning) in which the text spells out the palindromic form of the composition itself. Machaut's artfulness is part of his great appeal, and achieving an understanding of that is a good deal easier through his secular chansons than in his great sacred works such as the Messe de Nostre Dame or in the confusion of his multi-texted motets. Even two-part Machaut chansons, however, can sound busy, and no other aspect of his output contains more of Machaut's most complicated harmonic business than the chansons. Listeners new to late medieval music should try Machaut: Chansons in short braces of tracks at first to get a feel for his oblique harmonies and rolling rhythms, rather than ingesting it all at once, lest you come down with a case of polyphonic ague. In terms of interpretation, one could hardly make a better choice for this music than the Orlando Consort, as it concentrates strongly on clarity of delivery of his polyphonic lines and agreement of vocal blending; text painting is nonexistent in Machaut, so projection of emotions that relate to the content of a given chanson isn't an issue. The recording, made at the medieval St.-Osdag-Kirche in Mandelsloh, is clear and direct.

The obvious disadvantage to this very minimal, though comparatively less expensive, reissue package is the lack of texts or notes inside, though that doesn't mean one cannot access them at all; underneath the CD a link is provided on the web where one may print a 36-page .pdf file containing Machaut's lyrics and liner notes by Daniel Leech-Wilkinson. While the rather bulky sheaf of papers one accumulates in this fashion may not be the most convenient method to get at the information -- and in Machaut's case, access to the texts is rather important -- the printout you get is at least easy to read. ---Uncle Dave Lewis, AllMusic Review

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]]> (bluesever) Machaut Guillaume de Wed, 23 Aug 2017 14:22:10 +0000
Monteverdi, Machaut, Britten – Masses (Nesterov) (2007) Monteverdi, Machaut, Britten – Masses (Nesterov) (2007)

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Claudio Monteverdi (1567-1643)
Mass No.2 in F major

1.     Kyrie – 2;35
2.     Gloria – 4:14
3.     Credo – 6:28
4.     Sanctus – 2:28
5.     Benedictus – 1:35
6.     Agnus Dei – 1:45

Guillaume de Machaut (1300-1377)
Messe de Nostre Dame

7.     Kyrie – 4:10
8.     Gloria – 5:50
9.     Credo – 7:50
10.   Sanctus – 4:57
11.   Agnus Dei – 3:48
12.   Ite, Misse Est – 1:25

Benjamin Britten (1913-1976)
A ceremony of Carols, Op. 28

13.   Procession – 1:48
14.   Welcome Jole! – 1:15
15.   There is no rose – 2:07
16.   That young child – 1:30
17.   Balulalow – 1:14
18.   As dew in April – 1:05
19.   This little babe – 1:42
20.   Interlude – 3:03
21.   In freezing winter night – 2:47
22.   Spring carol – 1:08
23.   Deo Gratias – 1:02
24.   Recession – 2:10

In Latin (1,2) and English(3)

Chamber Choir (1,2)
Chamber Choir female group (3)
Valentin Nesterov – Conductor


Mass No.2 in F major by C. Monteverdi was published in Venice in 1641 in the collection of his sacred compositions.

G. de Machaut is an important French poet and composer of the 14th century, a representative of ars nova. He is the author of numerous one-voice and polyphonic songs with instrumental accompaniment in which traditions of trouveres are combined with new polyphonic art. Unfortunately, there is very little trustworthy information about the composer; the dates of his birth and death are approximate. There is a supposition that his Messe de Nostre Dame (the first known mass written by the composer) was dedicated to the coronation of the French king Charles V (Reims, 1364).

The name of B. Britten is known all over the world. In his vast and varied heritage, vocal genres, from operas to songs, occupy the chief place. His Ceremony of Carols is a circle of Christmas songs. Originally intended for a choir of children and harp, it is pierced with tenderness and purity. The texts are taken from medieval carols. Chamber Choir under V. Nesterov, a musician of great talent, appeared in 1967 at the Leningrad Choral Society and has been giving performances for more than 15 years, invariably winning the hearts of the listeners through excellent performing, variety and unique programs. ---

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]]> (bluesever) Machaut Guillaume de Wed, 16 Nov 2016 13:04:11 +0000