Songs of the distant past

Songs of the distant past

French Chanson: Early Music (CD)

Customer Review

In music, as in so many other disciplines, the Renaissance was a kind of evolution-revolution, combining development and process sophistication to LOEUVRE since the Middle Ages, innovations in harmony and formal structure. This pivotal period, it would take actually start to last Middle Ages, Brand differentiation of Western music from other cultural areas: the birth of polyphony, counterpoint ... Developments this will lead to radically new style baroque and classicism and romanticism. However, unlike his successors, the "scholarly" Renaissance music remains essentially voice; hence the choice of Naxos to offer us a record gathering songs "a cappella" in French, the French musical style is highly popular in Europe at that time.

Begin by highlighting the variety of topics covered by the songs on this disc: prayers, drinking songs, defrocked monks, celebration of spring, love ballads, bawdy nights ... This panorama of the music of the fifteenth and sixteenth century reminds us how Point the French elite of the time was fine as far as "coarse" (by today's standards). Thus, a poem by Du Bellay, set to music by Lassus, he precedes a song by the same composer, dealing this time a monk trying to ... "do intimate knowledge" with a nun. What contrasts!
Note also that the counterpoint (melodies overlay) is already sophisticated, since it is not uncommon for each of the 4 voices have an independent melodic line of the other 3, although the imitation processes are ubiquitous.

Let's input: all the songs do not have the same interest. "Birdsong" from Jannequin is, for example, boring from the first listen, especially as the proliferation of onomatopoeia tends to perplex the listener of the early twenty-first century. Conversely, "From the time I was in love", "Its great beauty", "Belle who hold my life" or "Stop a bit my heart" never cease to amaze me. It must still admit that this musical style, we do not usually hear, sometimes gives the impression of being repetitive, which makes listening to the first to the last track somewhat long. But as we replay the disc, we realize the wealth and quality of the pieces, perfectly interpreted by the addition of angelic see "Scholars of London". And even if the book is more stripped (an introductory page in English, followed by the text of the songs), I do not regret having tried the experiment of Renaissance music for this record, the lowest price at that.

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