Author Topic: The Early Music Club (EMC)  (Read 165616 times)

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Offline Que

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Re: The Early Music Club (EMC)
« Reply #1140 on: November 26, 2017, 10:50:58 PM »
Thanks for for your personal notes!  :)

I still have to try this ensemble....

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Offline San Antone

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Re: The Early Music Club (EMC)
« Reply #1141 on: November 27, 2017, 06:12:16 PM »
Chiara Margarita Cozzolani

Recognized during her lifetime as one of the finest composers in Italy, Chiara Margarita Cozzolani spent her entire adult life within the four walls of the musically famous convent of Santa Radegonda in Milan. Contemporary accounts describe the huge crowds that filled the exterior church of the convent to hear the angelic voices of nuns singing Cozzolani's passionate and ecstatic music.

The Concerti sacri of 1642 are inscribed to the single most important patron of singers in northern Italy, Prince Matthias de’ Medici, who seems to have heard Cozzolani’s pieces in winter 1641 while on a stay in the city. While this is the only dedication of sacred music to Matthias, he was a generous patron of singers and composers associated with early Venetian opera and established a troupe in Siena in 1646. In the absence of music theatre in Milan until after mid-century, the prince could well have visited the institutions best known for singing - the convents.

The wide variety of topics in the collection point to no single specific occasion for the performance of its contents, other than Matthias's putative visit. The motets represent the most modern style of Lombard vocal writing of the the 1630s and 40s, while the setting of the mass ordinary displays some of the most elaborate imaitative writing found in her music.

Beginning in 2000, Magnificat and Musica Omnia embarked on a project to record the complete surviving works of this remarkable and neglected composer. Magnificat's initial releases reflected the ensemble's commitment to the performance of sacred music within the liturgical context for which it was originally composed. On the triple CD set Vespro della Beata Vergine released in 2001, Magnificat integrated four of Cozzolani's psalm settings, one of her settings of the Magnificat, and six of her motets into the liturgy for Second Vespers for the Feast of Annunciation. On their second CD Messa Paschale released in 2002, Magnificat placed Cozzolani's setting of the Mass and five motets within a liturgy for the Mass for Easter Day. On each CD, Cozzolani's extraordinary music is heard in the context of the chants, prayers and readings proper to the respective feast, as intended by the composer.

Magnificat's CDs of Cozzolani's music are, imo, excellent recordings.  You can hear some on their Cozzolani page: http://music.cozzolani.com/

Also, in November 2002, in commemoration of the 400th anniversary of Chiara Margarita Cozzolani’s birth, Magnificat hosted a conference on Women and Music in 17th Century Italy at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco. In additions to two performances by Magnificat, four scholars presented papers on aspects of the role of women in musical life in Italy during the period. Robert Kendrick, whose research has contributed tremendously to our understanding of Cozzolani and the musical culture in Milan in general, contributed this article and has graciously granted permission to repost it here.


Offline Que

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Re: The Early Music Club (EMC)
« Reply #1142 on: December 10, 2017, 02:51:29 AM »
Repost from the WAYLT thread:


In a way a pleasant reprieve from the histrionics by The Sound and The Fury, though I still appreciate their Caron set.
Perhaps it is due to the larger forces vs one voice per part, but Van Nevel is considerably more mellow in comparison.
Whether that means it is undercharacterised or not, seems up to personal taste. Two opposite views below!
That me it is very nicely done, good and enjoyable interpretation but not outstanding amongst Huelgas recordings.
You definitely shouldn't regret your recent purchase.  :)

The Egidius Consort, the Gesualdo Consort or Ludus Modalis would know what to do with this stuff and provide a good mean between the two options currently available.

Quote
CARON Twilight of the Middle Ages - Edward Breen

Born in Amiens and named after his town’s patron saint, Firminus Caron (c1440-after 1480) was a contemporary of Johannes Tinctoris and Loyset Compère. Little is known about his life but what we do know, and the fact that this disc exists at all, is due to the work of those few tireless musicologists who do so much to bring 15th-century music to our attention. Paul Van Nevel’s disc comprises a composite Mass – movements from five of Caron’s four-part cantus firmus cycles, including, as one would expect, a L’homme armé setting – a chanson and three rondeaux.

As ever with the Huelgas Ensemble, the unique warm sound, characterised by soft, dark vowels, creates a pleasing sense of unity across the whole album and delivers a smooth and intimate listening experience; Galaxy to the Dairy Milk of British counterparts, if you like. Yet this smooth tone is far from monotonous. Van Nevel frequently draws on groups of solo voices to highlight differences in texture so that his performances of Caron’s Mass movements are characterised by such interplay and further strengthened by a bold, firm plainsong line clearly etched into the polyphonic web. Such a staunch cantus firmus is particularly noticeable in the Credo. Caron’s surprisingly smooth polyphonic garlands create a flow and fluidity that inspire this ensemble, and when the polyphony cadences they then delight in his remarkably long final chords.

The sublime and despairing rondeau Le despourveu infortuné, one of the most popular in the second half of the 15th century, showcases the ensemble at their best, mourning and yearning with wonderfully judged delicate vocal lines cascading like gentle tears. The contrast could not be greater with their grittier, wittier tone in the delightfully smutty Corps contre corps, where sequential vocal entries reveal a mischievous plan: no-holes-barred [sic] lusty singing from the lower voices and a smooth upper line which makes sense only when you read the text closely…

Quote

E. L. Wisty - It's unavoidable that....

...any review I might write of a recording of works by Firminus Caron is going to be heavily coloured by a comparison to the outstanding "The Sound And The Fury" sets, firstly a single disc with two masses Missa "L'Homme Armé" & Missa "Accueilly m'a la belle" and a subsequent three disc set Firminus Caron - Masses and Chansons presenting all five surviving masses confirmed to be from Caron - including re-recordings of the masses on that earlier disc - plus chansons (interestingly van Nevel in the notes declares himself of the minority opinion that the set of six L'Homme Armé masses in a Neapolitan manuscript are also by Caron, these being usually attributed to Antoine Busnois; there is also an anonymous Missa "Thomas cesus" in the Vatican B80 manuscript which van Nevel regards as being from his pen too).

Paul van Nevel's offering here presents a single movement from each of the five masses, plus four chansons. Sadly it's not a patch on the TSATF recordings - as noted it was never going to be in my opinion - but the mass movements with 3 voices per part are indistinct and the lower voices drowned out by the sopranos. The Gloria from Missa "Jesus autem transiens" is a bit of an exception which fares better, because it is sung with only the male voices and thus with only 2 voices per part as well as not being domineered in the recorded sound by the higher voices. It has to be said that the Huelgas Ensemble are normally rather better than this.

The booklet gives some notes on Caron (what little is actually known about him) and his music (which can get a bit technical). Sung texts and translations are supplied but the two are separated by several pages in the booklet rather than side by side.

If by hook or by crook you can get hold of the aforementioned recordings by The Sound And The Fury I would urge you to do so. This taster of a disc is very much a second best compared to the distinct, balanced, clear and characterful polyphonic lines of the one voice per part ensemble TSATF.
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Offline Que

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Re: The Early Music Club (EMC)
« Reply #1143 on: December 10, 2017, 04:09:09 AM »
Morning listening:



When introduced to this set, I commented on recordings by The Sound and the Fury as "hit or miss". And my point of view hasn't changed. Their recordings can be very frustrating for that reason. I am happy to report to Draško, Mandryka and other watchers of this ensemble that this set is somewhat of a (qualified) hit..... :)
Caveats: live recording, several rough edges...balance issues, not so neat ensemble work, hooty countertenor...

http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/Name/Firminius-Caron/Composer/172325-1

http://www.gramophone.co.uk/review/caron-masses-and-chansons

http://www.musica-dei-donum.org/cd_reviews/frabernardo_fb1207302.html


Q
À chacun son goût.

Offline Mandryka

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Re: The Early Music Club (EMC)
« Reply #1144 on: December 10, 2017, 07:25:10 AM »
I listened to Nevel in Le despouveu infortuné. It's very sweet, even when they sing

Quote
Sur touz je suis mal atourné,
car Espoir m’a le doz tourné,
si va mon faict tout au rebours;
par raison puis blasmer Amours,
quant en ce point m’a ordonné

Its like someone singing Winterreise without any real sense of bitterness.
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Offline Josquin13

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Re: The Early Music Club (EMC)
« Reply #1145 on: December 12, 2017, 09:16:49 AM »
When I first heard The Sound and the Fury's initial recording of the music of Firminus Caron, prior to their re-recording and releasing the 2 CD set mentioned above, I was astonished by the high quality of Caron's music.  Clearly, he was one of the giants of the early Renaissance.  It's great to finally have recordings of his music, though I hope these recordings will inspire other groups to record his output, especially any motets & chansons that have not yet been recorded.

Offline Mandryka

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Re: The Early Music Club (EMC)
« Reply #1146 on: December 18, 2017, 05:59:56 AM »


As far as I know this is the sole recording of sacred music by Matteo de Perugia, is that right? Assuming that it really is authentic trecento music, and not some concoction by Pedro Memelsdorf. It sounds like an Ars Subtilior mass! Very good.

« Last Edit: December 18, 2017, 10:47:05 AM by Mandryka »
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Offline Josquin13

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Re: The Early Music Club (EMC)
« Reply #1147 on: December 18, 2017, 04:56:06 PM »
Matteo da Perugia was the first magister cappellae of the Milan Cathedral, so you'd think there would be sacred music by him.  But, if memory serves, the sacred works on the Mala Punica CD are merely music recycled by Matteo from his secular works (& they sound like it); which Mala Punica selected and assembled into a program.  Otherwise, I can only recall having listened to a "Gloria in excelsis" by Matteo performed by Trefoil (Drew Minter's group).  But I can't off hand remember if that's one of the two Glorias on the Mala Punica CD or not? as I don't have the MP CD handy at the moment.  Otherwise, Matteo may have composed some Laudario works?--or is he too late for that?, and if so, it's possible that a group like La Reverdie has recorded them (as they did record a Laudarium CD).  But I don't recall anything by him, so I doubt it.


Offline Que

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Re: The Early Music Club (EMC)
« Reply #1148 on: December 18, 2017, 11:49:24 PM »
As far as I know this is the sole recording of sacred music by Matteo de Perugia, is that right?

What about Van Nevel?  :) (mixed secular/sacred)



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Offline Mandryka

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Re: The Early Music Club (EMC)
« Reply #1149 on: December 19, 2017, 01:01:22 AM »
Here is Pedro Memelsdorff essay on MdP

Quote
HELAS AVRIL
A qui Fortune ne se vuelt amer, maulgre de Ii sans Ole le pormayne

No musical notation could be more precise, intimate and less ambiguous than that used by Matteo do Perugia. And Matteo's fortune — or rather, his awareness of misfortune — seems to be the main reason for such scribal precision. He noted down every chromaticism, every vocal inflection, each tiny ornament and instrumental interlude almost as if he could foresee the oblivion which awaited him, as if he knew that he had to communicate with an extremely distant future. Like bottles sent out on to the ocean of the centuries, Matteo's works were then collected by sluggish modern musicology, which passed summary, superficial judgement on his songs — long before arriving at any real understanding of them.

We now know that although Matteo owes an iconographical and poetic debt to Filippotto da Caserta and Machaut, his vocabulary has no direct models, and is therefore utterly original. In his twenty-five chansons — as well as many mass movements and motets — he created a new musical universe and also devised a system for alternating between the sonorities of sung and played melodic lines. Moreover, Matteo's chansonnier is the largest Italian collection of French songs of the period, and as such the most detailed and best articulated Italian response to northern Ars subtilior.

 It is therefore a massive undertaking to try to bring that collection to life. Our version has two significant contributions to offer: firstly, in deciphering the notation of Matteo's 'Peruscino' tonality for the first time, and thus restoring to his melodies (which were initially misread and accused [ in Fab o Fano, La Cappello Musicale del Duomo di Milano, Milano: Ricordi, 1956. ]of being 'conventional, woeful vocalizations' their great expressive force and logic. And secondly, by recreating the original distribution of parts between voices and instruments as given in the principal source, the manuscript ot. M.5,24 in the Biblioteca Estense in Modena (referred to as ModA).

As far as tonality is concerned, the main obstacle lies in the apparent incoherence of the many chromatic signs in ModA (#, b, b ), which have puzzled the few scholars and even fewer performers of 'Peruscino' music in recent decades. Careful study on our part has revealed that the indications in ModA are not in the least incoherent, but follow two distinct and incompatible systems which one copyist mixed together — perhaps unwittingly — when transcribing from two different exemplars. Having established this fact it became possible to reedit the repertory completely for this recording, and as a result many pieces will seem unrecognizable when compared with previous readings. Helas Avril is certainly the clearest example: here it regains all the exoticism of its unusual leaps and abrupt modulations — just as in Matteo's Gloria [En attendant] in fol. 1 v2r of ModA — and thus provides our collection with its title. In short, this new reading greatly reduces the otherwise characteristic flexibility of music ficta, and requires the readerinterpreter to submit to an extraordinary, almost mandatory 'Peruscino' tonality.

As for the combination of voices and instruments, we have chosen to restore their responsorial relationship as prescribed in ModA. The manuscript makes a distinction not only between vocal parts (with text) and instrumental ones (with no text — normally both the tenor and contratenor), but also between sung phrases and instrumental responses within the same melodic line. Such 'horizontal' dialogue ranges from occasional comment (Puisque je sui, Gia da rete d'Amor) to constant alternation between a voice and a 'solo' instrument (Helas Am' and, most of all, A qui Fortune): so as to create a fundamental tension between textual rhetoric and its abstract and numerical musical representation. This might be Matteo's greatest contribution to later styles — from Grenon to Dufay or Binchois.

Of course it was up to us to choose which instruments to use in each case, though iconography suggested fiddles, flutes, harps, lutes and a positive organ. It was also our decision to experiment with the 'silent sections' — what the 'solo' instruments play under the voice and what the voice does during the instrumental interludes — and to offer different solutions in each piece.

As in our previous recordings, we have adopted the pitch of Bologna and northern Italy in the 1450s and 1460s (the earliest for which there is unambiguous documentation) and Pythagorean temperament, except for those cases where the notation of ModA — which also contains 'microtones' similar to those of Marchetto da Padova — calls for sharps even higher than the Pythagorean ones. Our vocal dynamics and agogics follow the illuminating writings of the physicist Nicole Oresme, who collaborated with Philippe de Vitry, the great exponent of Ars nova. Both these figures served as models for Matteo's culture and aesthetics, as well as for his Italian — and highly theatrical —concept of subtilitas.
I should like to thank Dr Chiarelli, director of the manuscript department of the Biblioteca Estense in Modena, as well as Olivier Bettens, for his help with the poetry. Thanks, also, to Enrico Bellei for his warm hospitality, and to our friend Klaus L. Neumann, who kindly assisted us during the recording sessions. And a very special thank you to our sensitive patrons, the German radio WDR and Fondation d'entreprise France Telecom.

Pedro Memelsdorff
« Last Edit: December 19, 2017, 01:05:35 AM by Mandryka »
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Offline Mandryka

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Re: The Early Music Club (EMC)
« Reply #1150 on: December 19, 2017, 01:02:39 AM »
What about Van Nevel?  :) (mixed secular/sacred)



There is indeed one isorhythmic motet which includes an Agnus Dei:  Ave, sancta mundi salus - Agnus dei. Thanks.
« Last Edit: December 19, 2017, 01:13:29 AM by Mandryka »
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Offline Mandryka

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Re: The Early Music Club (EMC)
« Reply #1151 on: December 19, 2017, 01:11:26 AM »


Matteo da Perugia was the first magister cappellae of the Milan Cathedral, so you'd think there would be sacred music by him.  But, if memory serves, the sacred works on the Mala Punica CD are merely music recycled by Matteo from his secular works (& they sound like it); which Mala Punica selected and assembled into a program

Well, in his essay which I pasted above Memelsdorff says

Quote
as well as many mass movements

The Missa Cantilena includes these pieces attributed to MdP

Agnus Dei Ave Sancta Mundi Salus
Credo
Gloria En Attendant
Gloria Rosetta
« Last Edit: December 19, 2017, 01:16:35 AM by Mandryka »
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Offline Mandryka

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Re: The Early Music Club (EMC)
« Reply #1152 on: December 19, 2017, 01:19:27 AM »
What do the assembled early music mavens think of this idea from  Memelsdorff?

Quote
In his . . .  mass movements he . . .  devised a system for alternating between the sonorities of sung and played melodic lines.

« Last Edit: December 19, 2017, 01:21:31 AM by Mandryka »
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Offline San Antone

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Re: The Early Music Club (EMC)
« Reply #1153 on: December 19, 2017, 02:56:13 AM »
What do the assembled early music mavens think of this idea from  Memelsdorff?

Quote
In his . . .  mass movements he . . .  devised a system for alternating between the sonorities of sung and played melodic lines.

Alternatim style was not uncommon, with the organ alternating with the voices.

Offline (: premont :)

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Re: The Early Music Club (EMC)
« Reply #1154 on: December 19, 2017, 04:12:04 AM »
What do the assembled early music mavens think of this idea from  Memelsdorff?:

In his . . .  mass movements he . . .  devised a system for alternating between the sonorities of sung and played melodic lines.


This does not seem to be directed towards the common alternatim practice (organ verse 1, choir verse 2, organ verse 3 et.c.), but is a question of whether the organ (or other instruments) can alternate with the vocalist(s) in the same verse. I do not know if anybody knows the answer. In Machaut's mass there are a few places, where the writing seems very instrumental, but I doubt if this can be used as an indication of any intended instrumental performance. I have not seen Matteo's scores, so I do not know what Memelsdorff builds his theory upon.
« Last Edit: December 19, 2017, 04:18:38 AM by (: premont :) »
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Offline Mandryka

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Re: The Early Music Club (EMC)
« Reply #1155 on: December 19, 2017, 04:20:02 AM »
Indeed. He says

Quote
The manuscript makes a distinction . . . but also between sung phrases and instrumental responses within the same melodic line. Such 'horizontal' dialogue ranges from occasional comment (Puisque je sui, Gia da rete d'Amor) to constant alternation between a voice and a 'solo' instrument (Helas Am' and, most of all, A qui Fortune): so as to create a fundamental tension between textual rhetoric and its abstract and numerical musical representation. This might be Matteo's greatest contribution to later styles — from Grenon to Dufay or Binchois.

though it's not clear if this applies to the sacred music.


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Offline Mandryka

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Re: The Early Music Club (EMC)
« Reply #1156 on: December 19, 2017, 05:13:31 AM »
I'll just add that in the Missa Cantilena, the Gloria En Attendant, which is attributed to MdP, the instrumental part is very characterful, and there does seem to be a "fundamental tension" between voice and instruments, to use Memelsdorff's rather nice turn of phrase. Not disimilar from what you have in A qui fortune on Hélas Avril. Very exciting  music making from Mala Punica I'd say.
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Offline (: premont :)

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Re: The Early Music Club (EMC)
« Reply #1157 on: December 19, 2017, 05:39:57 AM »
I'll just add that in the Missa Cantilena, the Gloria En Attendant, which is attributed to MdP, the instrumental part is very characterful, and there does seem to be a "fundamental tension" between voice and instruments, to use Memelsdorff's rather nice turn of phrase. Not disimilar from what you have in A qui fortune on Hélas Avril. Very exciting  music making from Mala Punica I'd say.

In secular music from that age there are no definite indications as to whether a line should be instrumental or vocal, there are only modern theories. And we shall never know for sure. So Memelsdorff's theories may be just as valid as anyone else's. And as to sacred music we only know, that the only allowed instrument in the church was the organ, but we do not know, how it was used in relation to the mass proper, if at all. But if the composer intended a horizontal dialogue between singers and an instrumental part, he most probably meant the organ to be used.
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Offline Mandryka

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Re: The Early Music Club (EMC)
« Reply #1158 on: December 28, 2017, 01:32:22 PM »


So what we have here is motets by a prolific composer called Jean Hanelle, possibly from Cambrai, all his work collected in a large manuscript in Turin which, up to now, has been dismissed by musicologists as formulaic, mass produced, mainstream, probably written under time pressures, more concerned with medieval scholastic ideas than with expressiveness or beauty.

Then along comes Bjorn Schmelzer, and he says that the manuscript contains some isorhythmic Latin motets  which make a cycle. And I must say it makes a fabulous cycle too! Hallucinatory music  music. No one could say that they are formulaic, mass produced.

So what's happened? The answer is, of course, that Graindelavoix have been been inspired by the texts to liberally add expression to their performances

Quote
It is the performer who puts this exegetic work into play by articulating these figurae, phrasing the sequential and mnemonic aspects of the isorhythmic formula and creating and integrating cadences with the help of musica ficta which structure the movement and create affective suspense, drive, dynamic. Understanding for the per- former and the listener means being affective and being affected: being moved.
« Last Edit: December 28, 2017, 02:23:24 PM by Mandryka »
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Offline San Antone

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Re: The Early Music Club (EMC)
« Reply #1159 on: December 28, 2017, 03:09:41 PM »


So what we have here is motets by a prolific composer called Jean Hanelle, possibly from Cambrai, all his work collected in a large manuscript in Turin which, up to now, has been dismissed by musicologists as formulaic, mass produced, mainstream, probably written under time pressures, more concerned with medieval scholastic ideas than with expressiveness or beauty.

Then along comes Bjorn Schmelzer, and he says that the manuscript contains some isorhythmic Latin motets  which make a cycle. And I must say it makes a fabulous cycle too! Hallucinatory music  music. No one could say that they are formulaic, mass produced.

So what's happened? The answer is, of course, that Graindelavoix have been been inspired by the texts to liberally add expression to their performances

Is this new?  I must look it up.

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