Trouvère on CD and MP3

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Magna Melodia

Legends clustered around the royal Plantagenets of the twelfth century, and it was thought they had the devil’s blood in them... and their behaviour seemed to justify the belief. When King John’s barons forced him to make explicit concessions in their favour in the ‘Great Charter’ of 1215, John’s problems were all too typical of these turbulent early years of Plantagenet rule. Yet these Angevin kings of England presided over - and participated in - a magnificent musical scene. ‘Magna Melodia’ presents music from across the Angevin world in the century or so around Magna Carta, including music of the troubadours and the trouvères, music of the church and some of the earliest English music.

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Magna Melodia

Legends clustered around the royal Plantagenets of the twelfth century, and it was thought they had the devil’s blood in them... Their behaviour seemed to justify the belief - King Henry II and his sons Richard and John seem to have spent most of their time squabbling violently with each other, with their neighbours, or with their subjects. When King John’s barons forced explicit concessions from the King in the ‘Great Charter’ of 1215, John’s problems were all too typical of the turbulent years of Angevin rule.

However, this ‘devil’s brood’ also presided over a magnificent musical scene. Henry II had come to the throne in 1154, his third son Richard succeeded him in 1189, John followed in 1199 with his son Henry coming to the throne in 1216. Their reigns coincided with the height of troubadour music in southern France, and the flowering of the trouvères, their counterparts and successors in northern France.

The Angevins were an important part of this musical scene, and many troubadours were closely associated with the royal Plantagenets. Bernart de Ventadorn, widely acclaimed as the greatest troubadour, received the patronage of Henry and Eleanor; it is likely he even came with them to England at one point. We have included his La Dousa Votz and an instrumental version of the popular Can vei la lauzeta. Bertran de Born was a close associate of the sons of Henry II and composed planhs (laments) on the death of both Henry the Young King and the third son Geoffrey of Brittany. Sadly, we have the music for neither of these, but present an instrumental version of hisRassa tan creis, with a recited excerpt from his lament for the Young King, Mon chan fenisc. Gaucelm Faidit knew the Plantagenets well; his Fort chose avias is a lament on the death of Richard I, here presented in a northern French version. On a lighter note, Raimbaut de Vaqueiras’ Kalenda maia is a lively spring song reputedly based on an earlier dance tune, while Marcabru’s L’autrier jost’un sebissa, here presented instrumentally, is a jolly pastourela, celebrating the classic encounter of knight with shepherdess.

Crusade was a central part of aristocratic life in the twelfth century and so also an important theme in music-making. Moving to the trouvère repertoire of northern France, Parti de Mal is an exhortation to crusade of Anglo-Norman origin from the time of the Third Crusade. It has survived in a single copy at the back of a history of the Dukes of Normandy, dedicated to Henry II. Ja nus hons pris, by King Richard himself, is a lament on his status as a prisoner awaiting ransom in the wake of the Third Crusade. In contrast, Volez vous que je vous chant, is a reverdie, a celebration of the return of spring and also of the delights of love.

The troubadours and trouvères took secular music to new heights, but church music was also flourishing at this time. Melodies in the church were often known over a wide geographic area, with versions of the same tune known as far apart as northern France and Sicily, England and southern France. This reflects the intrepid adventurism of the Normans, and the extensive geographical world with which the Angevin kings were familiar.

Thus Congaudentes iubilemus, Natali regis glorie, Anni novi circulus, Omnis mundus iocundetur and Orientis partibus all derive from the Troparium de Catania, from Norman Sicily. But the last is known also in Egerton 2615, a manuscript from northern France, and we have combined the specific melody of the Sicilian source with the lively braying chorus from the French. Egerton 2615 also contains the Ludus Danielis, a church play telling the story of the prophet Daniel. This play originated in Beauvais at some time in the twelfth century; its sequences are richly melodic and several are featured here.

Verbum patris umanatur is another widely known tune with extant versions from the Limousin, Bavaria and England. It is a jolly song, associated with the New Year’s Day festival of the sub-deacons. Our version is a three-voice English polyphonic version, dating to the end of the twelfth century.

It’s worth remembering that English high culture at this period looked over the Channel - the royals and their vassals had vast domains on the continent and spent a lot of time there. It was continental culture that resonated with the early Angevin kings, and continental repertoire that would have been popular among the English aristocracy. But from the thirteenth century there are a few more pieces unequivocally from England. There is only one surviving verse of Mirie it is (here presented instrumentally), but this was probably a Middle English song in the trouvère style, dating to the early thirteenth century. Man mei longe is a charmingly sprightly tune for a song about the transience of earthly pleasures; it dates to the first half of the thirteenth century. Foweles in the frith is again a tiny fragment, but a lovely two-voice polyphony; it derives from the same later thirteenth-century source as the thrilling Dance, an instrumental piece in the estampie form.

Medieval music has its own distinctive and charming flavour : its modal basis allows for a wide range of melodic expression and rhythmic variety and it lacks the functional harmony of later periods. The innovative and expressive music of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries exemplifies this unique and rich sound.

Magna Melodia

 

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Click on the following to hear samples from the CD:
Full Track List - please click
  1. Can vei la lauzeta / Dousa votz
  2. L’autrier jost’un sebissa
  3. Kalenda Maia
  4. Congaudentes iubilemus
  5. Natali regis glorie
  6. Fort chose avias
  7. Rassa tan creis / Mon chan fenisc
  8. Anni novi circulus
  9. Omnis mundus iocundetur
  10. Orientis partibus
  11. Ex regali
  12. Rex tua nolo munera
  13. Cum doctorum
  14. Abacuc / Nuntium vobis
  15. Volez vous que je vous chant
  16. Parti de mal / Ja nus hons pris
  17. Dance
  18. Foweles in the frith / Man mei longe
  19. Verbum patris umanatur
  20. Mirie it is

 

Music for a Medieval Prince

Our new CD brings to life the courtly sounds of the thirteenth century. All the music comes from the thirteenth-century Chansonnier du Roi, a beautiful and rich resource of the music of the trouvères and troubadours.

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The Chansonnier of the Prince of the Morea

Manuscript fonds.fr. 844 in Bibliothèque Narionale in Paris - the Chansonnier du Roi or ‘Songbook of the King’ - is a remarkable survival from the high Middle Ages. Although its primary focus is firmly on the northern French trouvères, this Chansonnier is unusual in having a wonderfully broad repertoire, for it contains a rich collection of the music of the troubadours and trouvères, as well as instrumental dance tunes and polyphonic motets.

The Chansonnier was initially created around 1255 by or for Prince Guillaume II de Villehardouin of the Morea in southern Greece. The Morea was arguably the most successful of the many states created in the wake of the Fourth Crusade (1204), which saw Constantinople and the Byzantine empire conquered by westerners. The Morea comprised most of the Peloponnese and at the time of the creation of the Prince’s songbook was a prosperous and ambitious state that was proud of its French heritage. This songbook was one way of asserting this heritage. It was created possibly in the Morea, but more probably either in the Angevin kingdom of southern Italy or actually in northern France. Its early history is far from clear but by the end of the thirteenth century it was in Angevin hands - like the Morea itself, which had by then fallen swiftly and far from its glorious heyday.

Trouvère present here a selection from the Prince’s Chansonnier. Most importantly, we feature - we think for the first time in the modern era - two songs by the Prince himself.

Music for a Medieval Prince

 

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Click on the following to hear samples from the CD:
Full Track List - please click
  1. Au novel tans - Guillaume de Villehardouin
  2. Septime estampie real - Anon
  3. Dansse real - Anon
  4. Chanterai por mon corage - Guiot de Dijon
  5. Amors m’art con fuoc am flama - Anon
  6. Quinte estampie real - Anon
  7. Non es meraville - Bernart de Ventadorn
  8. Dolerousement commence - Gontier de Soignies
  9. A chantar mes - Comtessa da Dia
  10. Quarte estampie real - Anon
  11. A la rousee/Ab insurgentibus - Anon
  12. L’autrier par la matinee - Thibaut de Champagne
  13. Les oiseillons de mon pais - Gace Brulè
  14. Pax in nomine domini - Marcabrus
  15. Sexte estampie real - Anon
  16. Danse real - Anon
  17. Loiaus amors - Guillaume de Villehardouin

 

Music for a Medieval Feast

 

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Music for a Medieval Feast

The music and merrymaking of a 13th - 14th century feasting hall is brought to life on this CD from Trouvère! The range of instruments featured includes bagpipes, flutes, citole, recorder, harp, rebec and percussion to create a lively mix of instrumental music ideal for any medieval banquet. The CD is also an excellent medieval resource for school projects.

Click on the following to hear samples from the CD:
Full Track List - please click
  1. Stella splendens
  2. Miri it is
  3. Quen a omagen
  4. A madre do que livrou
  5. Lauda novella
  6. Por my gran fremosura
  7. Ben pode Santa Maria
  8. La rotta
  9. Como poden
  10. Avirgen mui groriosa
  11. Ductia
  12. Por conforter mon corage
  13. Brid one brere
  14. Gran sendece faz
  15. Ad honorum tui / Audites principes
  16. Parti de mal
  17. Loybere risen
  18. Sumer is icumen in
  19. Marivillosos et piadosos
  20. Comossomos per consello
  21. Santa Maria stella do dia / Quen diz mal
  22. Des oges mais
  23. Quen quer que.

 

Music for Tudor Feast

 

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Music for Tudor Feast

Featuring many different Tudor age instruments and sounds with examples of courtly music, feasting music, dance music and commoners music. Great for banquets and parties, but this recording will also be useful in schools for teachers presenting Tudor Times at KS2.

Click on the following to hear samples from the CD:
Full Track List - please click
  1. The hunt is up
  2. Bergerette
  3. The boar’s head carol
  4. Can she excuse
  5. Consort
  6. Blow thy horn hunter
  7. La Volta
  8. Dance of the washerwomen
  9. Now oh now
  10. Double & Maltese Branle
  11. Galliard VII
  12. Flow my tears
  13. Galliard II
  14. La Rosette
  15. Green Grow’th the holly
  16. Ronde
  17. Lord Zouche’s Masque
  18. Madame d’amours
  19. Morisco
  20. Les quatre branles
  21. It was a time when silly bees could speak
  22. Ronde III
  23. Pastime with good company
  24. Fortune my foe.

 

In Bethlehem

 

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In Bethlehem

A collection of music from the thirteenth, fifteenth and sixteenth centuries on the theme of Christmas.

 

Click on the following to hear samples from the CD:

Full Track List - please click
  1. Puer nobis
  2. In dulci jubilo
  3. In Bethlehem
  4. The coventry carol
  5. Nous voici dans la ville / noel nouvelet
  6. Alma redemptoris mater
  7. Nova nova
  8. Song of the nuns of chester
  9. There is no rose
  10. Wonder tidings
  11. Procedenti puero

 

Novela

 

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Novela

This CD features 13th and 14th century music from medieval France, Spain and Italy. The recordings are all modern interpretations performed on a variety of instruments both modern and medieval. Unlike our other recent recordings, we have not worried about authenticity and allowed the music to take us where it will.

 

Click on the following to hear samples from the CD:
Full Track List - please click
  1. Contre tens
  2. Quen bona
  3. Muito valvera
  4. Douce dame jolie
  5. Trotto
  6. Sexte estampie real
  7. L’autrier
  8. Audite principes
  9. Contre tens
  10. Novela
  11. Saltarello.

 

Douce Dame Jolie

 

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Douce Dame Jolie

A splendid collection of 19 medieval and 16th century music performed on a wide variety of instruments including lutes, citoles, psalteries, flutes, nakirs, symphony and cornamuse.

The CD is arranged in chronological order starting with music from the 13th century French Trouvère manuscripts. Features 12 instrumental pieces and 7 songs.

Players: Gill Stapleton, Helen Senior, Tony Lacey, Paul McGuiness, Dan Osbaldeston, Gill Page, Paul Leigh.

 

Click on the following to hear samples from the CD:

Full Track List - please click
  1. La quinte estampie real
  2. Chanterei por mon corage
  3. Amors m’art con fuo am flama
  4. Palastinalied
  5. Ce fu en mai
  6. Donna pos vos ay chausida
  7. Danse real
  8. Huic main/hec dies
  9. Quant voi/Virgo virginum/Hec dies
  10. L’autrier m’esbatoie/Demenant grant joie/manere
  11. Douce dame jolie
  12. Lamento di Tristano and Rotta
  13. Ce jour de l’an
  14. Nous voice dans la ville
  15. Branles from Arbeau
  16. Dance of the washerwomen
  17. Bianco fiore
  18. Danza
  19. Helas Madame

 

Reynard the Fox

 

£10 + £1 postage and packaging

out of stock at the moment

Reynard the Fox

Epic storytelling from the middle ages! This CD presents three classic stories from the collection of tales about Reynard the Fox - the trickiest animal in the forest... The tales are accompanied by authentic music from twelfth and thirteenth century France.

 

Click on the following to hear samples from the CD:

 

Resources for Schools

How to be a Tudor

 

This item is currently not available - our apologies.

How to be a Tudor

or... the guide to putting on the perfect Tudor day. Aimed at schools studying Tudors at KS2, How to Be a Tudor contains just about all you need for imaginative and creative Tudor-themed work, building up to a Tudor day.

This colourful booklet includes instructions for making Tudor-style outfits, guidelines on producing a Tudor feast (including three authentic recipes), notes on a Tudor Christmas, guidelines on talking and role-playing Tudors, two Tudor dances, real Tudor music to play - and much more. How to Be a Tudor is a unique resource stuffed with great ideas!

 

 

Tudor Dance

 

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Tudor Dance

Tudor Dance is a digital interactive resource comprising a double-CD pack of audio CD an interactive CD. The audio CD has 12 period dance tunes played on authentic instruments, and alongside this there is the interactive resource CD of dance choreography and supporting material. Guidance on Tudor dance steps, a wealth of illustrations, audio and video demonstrations of key steps and choregraphy - Tudor Dance gives you everything you need to recreate 16th-century dancing in school or at your historical event.

Players: Elliott Rush, Clare Little, Gill Page, Paul Leigh.

Click on the following to hear samples from the CD:

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Full Track List - please click
  1. Torch Branle
  2. Scottish Branle
  3. Dance of the Washerwomen
  4. Branle de l’official on lute
  5. Branle de l’official on bagpipe
  6. Clog branle
  7. Horses Branle
  8. The Fine Companion
  9. Pastime with good company
  10. Amoroso
  11. Hutchesoun’s Galyiard
  12. A Medley of Branles from Arbeau
  13. Lord Zouche’s Masque

 

 

 

 

Top

listening to your lovely cd already and enjoying it very much

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the harp and flute go so well together... it really works

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