Author Topic: The Early Music Club (EMC)  (Read 177504 times)

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Offline San Antone

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Re: The Early Music Club (EMC)
« Reply #920 on: January 20, 2017, 05:56:32 AM »
Dufay : Choral Music
Cantica Symphona



Wish they'd left their instruments in the cases, but otherwise, the singing is good and a nice selection of works.

I am not familiar with this group, Cantica Symphona.  I wonder what is the historical basis for using these instruments accompanying the voices?  Not overdone, just curious.  There is plenty of contemporaneous information about how much the "church Fathers" detested instruments at church.  And this continues until the late 16th century (organ excepted) but it is not to say that the amount of vitriol might also have been a reaction to what was being done despite the church's preference.

Thus we find that Erasmus, writing more than a century after Machaut's death, had cause to criticize instrumental music in much the same way as the Fathers had done, but with the significant addition that it was now to be heard 'even in the holy temple, just as in the theatre'. 

This was a comparatively new development around 1500, and one that is corroborated by other writers.

Offline San Antone

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Re: The Early Music Club (EMC)
« Reply #921 on: January 20, 2017, 06:22:31 AM »
This month's Early Music America magazine has a feature article on women composers during the periods from 9th-17th century.  One caught my eye (literally), Barbara Strozzi (1619-1677).  I'd heard of her before, but the painting of her is a bit risque.



Lady Gaga has got nothing on her!

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/aDBPfhG-gVk" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/aDBPfhG-gVk</a>

Offline Ken B

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Re: The Early Music Club (EMC)
« Reply #922 on: January 20, 2017, 09:27:47 AM »
This month's Early Music America magazine has a feature article on women composers during the periods from 9th-17th century.  One caught my eye (literally), Barbara Strozzi (1619-1677).  I'd heard of her before, but the painting of her is a bit risque.



Lady Gaga has got nothing on her!

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/aDBPfhG-gVk" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/aDBPfhG-gVk</a>
She is a character in a movie I saw once, but cannot recall what the movie was!
Give a man a fire and he is warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he is warm for life.

Offline The Fish Knows...

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Re: The Early Music Club (EMC)
« Reply #923 on: January 20, 2017, 11:14:54 AM »
Hi All!

I saw this new release and I thought I'd ask here for people's opinions about it and/or the group before I pull the trigger:

Knights, Maids, and Miracles / La Reverdie



It's a bundle of five of their previous releases, I believe from the 90s.

I can download the whole shebang for $10 from prestoclassical or googleplay (at least until they fix their pricing). But since I'm the kind of person that tries to listen to everything I buy at least once a year or so, I'm reluctant to buy a bunch of discs without doing a little sniffing around first.

So... what do you think? Should I jump on it?  Does the music sound as nice as the packaging looks?


UPDATE: The set includes the following earlier releases:

SVSO IN ITALIA BELLA - Musique dans les cours et cloîtres de l'Italie du Nord

O TU CHARA SCIENCA - la musique dans la pensée médiévale

NOX-LUX - France and Angleterre, 1200-1300

INSULA FEMINARUM - Résonances Médiévales de la Féminité Celte

SPECULUM AMORIS - Medieval Love Lyrics of Mysticism and Eroticism

« Last Edit: January 20, 2017, 11:21:08 AM by Judge Fish »
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Offline (: premont :)

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Re: The Early Music Club (EMC)
« Reply #924 on: January 20, 2017, 11:23:18 AM »
An unconditional recommendation from me.
Tiden læger alle sår,
heldigt nok at tiden går.

Offline San Antone

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Re: The Early Music Club (EMC)
« Reply #925 on: January 20, 2017, 11:33:04 AM »
Hi All!

I saw this new release and I thought I'd ask here for people's opinions about it and/or the group before I pull the trigger:

Knights, Maids, and Miracles / La Reverdie



It is on Spotify. 

Offline Mandryka

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Re: The Early Music Club (EMC)
« Reply #926 on: January 20, 2017, 01:51:16 PM »
I am not familiar with this group, Cantica Symphona.  I wonder what is the historical basis for using these instruments accompanying the voices?  Not overdone, just curious.  There is plenty of contemporaneous information about how much the "church Fathers" detested instruments at church.  And this continues until the late 16th century (organ excepted) but it is not to say that the amount of vitriol might also have been a reaction to what was being done despite the church's preference.

Thus we find that Erasmus, writing more than a century after Machaut's death, had cause to criticize instrumental music in much the same way as the Fathers had done, but with the significant addition that it was now to be heard 'even in the holy temple, just as in the theatre'. 

This was a comparatively new development around 1500, and one that is corroborated by other writers.

Bear in mind that these motets weren't necessarily sung in church services.
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Offline Mandryka

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Re: The Early Music Club (EMC)
« Reply #927 on: January 20, 2017, 02:03:56 PM »
Wonderful disc from the L'Oiseau Lyre M&R box ~

Matteo da Perugia : Secular Works
Medieval Ensemble of London | Timothy & Peter Davies





Do they take it very fast compared with Tetraktys? The Tetraktys timings are here

https://www.etcetera-records.com/album/617/chansons

I believe Davies Bros stopped recording and performing because they got very depressed about negative reviews which didn't approve of their instruments.


« Last Edit: January 20, 2017, 02:12:57 PM by Mandryka »
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Offline HIPster

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Re: The Early Music Club (EMC)
« Reply #928 on: January 20, 2017, 06:34:58 PM »
Hi All!

I saw this new release and I thought I'd ask here for people's opinions about it and/or the group before I pull the trigger:

Knights, Maids, and Miracles / La Reverdie



An unconditional recommendation from me.

+1  :)

Fantastic group.

Online Que

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Re: The Early Music Club (EMC)
« Reply #929 on: January 21, 2017, 01:11:32 AM »
I am not familiar with this group, Cantica Symphona.  I wonder what is the historical basis for using these instruments accompanying the voices?  Not overdone, just curious.  There is plenty of contemporaneous information about how much the "church Fathers" detested instruments at church.  And this continues until the late 16th century (organ excepted) but it is not to say that the amount of vitriol might also have been a reaction to what was being done despite the church's preference.

Thus we find that Erasmus, writing more than a century after Machaut's death, had cause to criticize instrumental music in much the same way as the Fathers had done, but with the significant addition that it was now to be heard 'even in the holy temple, just as in the theatre'. 

This was a comparatively new development around 1500, and one that is corroborated by other writers.

I've sampled their recordings on several occasions, and every time I really disliked it..... The use of instruments and the way they are used sounds completely out of place.
The whole approach sounds terribly interventionist.

Which makes life more easy....a lot of expensive discs not to consider.... 8)

Q
À chacun son goût.

Offline HIPster

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Re: The Early Music Club (EMC)
« Reply #930 on: January 21, 2017, 08:51:02 AM »
I've sampled their recordings on several occasions, and every time I really disliked it..... The use of instruments and the way they are used sounds completely out of place.
The whole approach sounds terribly interventionist.

Which makes life more easy....a lot of expensive discs not to consider.... 8)

Q

Hi Que,

This Dufay recording by Cantica Symphonia is my favorite by this composer:



The instrumental accompaniment fits quite well, I feel.  It's really excellent.  :)

The instruments do not sound out of place at all here; they include organ, violins, harps and lute.  Other Cantica Symphonia recordings add other instruments to the mix, such as cornets and trombones, but here, the voices and instruments go very well together.

I was able to purchase this recording for under $5 U.S. - an incredible bargain.  ;)

Offline San Antone

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Re: The Early Music Club (EMC)
« Reply #931 on: January 21, 2017, 04:01:40 PM »
I've sampled their recordings on several occasions, and every time I really disliked it..... The use of instruments and the way they are used sounds completely out of place.
The whole approach sounds terribly interventionist.

Which makes life more easy....a lot of expensive discs not to consider.... 8)

Q

I admit to leaning in your direction.  I didn't have to invest anything to hear it on Spotify, which is a great service to sample before buying.

Offline Mandryka

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Re: The Early Music Club (EMC)
« Reply #932 on: January 21, 2017, 11:36:35 PM »
It would be misleading to suggest that instrumental participation in 15th century sacred music is "out of place", to use que's expression.

In an interview on the glossa website  Maletto said that he thought that instruments and voices works well for Dufay because of the complexity of the voicing in the music, as if he uses the different timbres of  the instruments to  clarify what's going on for the listener. This doesn't sound stupid to me, and as far as I can see it's quite stylish. Whether Maletto always succeeds in this aim is a moot point of course, but the aim seems laudable.

There's an interesting set of notes about this and other aspects of performance practice on Blue Heron's site.

« Last Edit: January 21, 2017, 11:39:52 PM by Mandryka »
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Online Que

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Re: The Early Music Club (EMC)
« Reply #933 on: January 22, 2017, 12:59:20 AM »
It would be misleading to suggest that instrumental participation in 15th century sacred music is "out of place", to use que's expression.


I wouldn't suggest that either. As a matter of personal preference am not so keen on the use of instruments.
Since my knowledge on the mater is way too limited, I have have no general opinon on the historical authenticity of such an approach.
And frankly I am more interested in whether I enjoy what I hear - it is just that historical informed performances often lead me into the right direction.

Whatever the merits of Maletto's reasons and justifications, it totally rubs me the wrong way.
I indeed have read before he want to "help" the listener to dicifer the complexities of the music. Well....no, thanks, I'm good.... 8)
I have listened my way into this kind of music the hard way, which turned out to be very rewarding. :)

Q
À chacun son goût.

Offline San Antone

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Re: The Early Music Club (EMC)
« Reply #934 on: January 22, 2017, 02:51:16 AM »
It would be misleading to suggest that instrumental participation in 15th century sacred music is "out of place", to use que's expression.

In an interview on the glossa website  Maletto said that he thought that instruments and voices works well for Dufay because of the complexity of the voicing in the music, as if he uses the different timbres of  the instruments to  clarify what's going on for the listener. This doesn't sound stupid to me, and as far as I can see it's quite stylish. Whether Maletto always succeeds in this aim is a moot point of course, but the aim seems laudable.

There's an interesting set of notes about this and other aspects of performance practice on Blue Heron's site.

That idea (bolded) is not a new one; it is exactly the rationale used back in the 50s (and earlier) for the use of instrument doubling of the vocal lines.  I was just reading about this concerning isorhythmic works, there was a desire to demonstrate what was going on in the music.

I am with Que on this.  Not only is it historically indefensible, especially for sacred music that would have been performed in church, I simply prefer the sound of the voices alone.  I go further and would like to hear only male voices (tenors, not countertenors, and basses/baritones) in polyphonic music.

Of course there is a limit to how "authentic" we can ever present this music, if at all.  There isn't enough left to us of real evidence.

Offline Mandryka

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Re: The Early Music Club (EMC)
« Reply #935 on: January 22, 2017, 03:42:02 AM »
That idea (bolded) is not a new one; it is exactly the rationale used back in the 50s (and earlier) for the use of instrument doubling of the vocal lines.  I was just reading about this concerning isorhythmic works, there was a desire to demonstrate what was going on in the music.

I am with Que on this.  Not only is it historically indefensible, especially for sacred music that would have been performed in church, I simply prefer the sound of the voices alone.  I go further and would like to hear only male voices (tenors, not countertenors, and basses/baritones) in polyphonic music.

Of course there is a limit to how "authentic" we can ever present this music, if at all.  There isn't enough left to us of real evidence.

Well I'm less confident than you that instrumental participation in Dufay's sacred music is historically indefensible, though you may be right to suggest that the location of the performance had a lot to do with how instruments were used: church, chapel etc.

There's something about the gossamer of sound in some of Maletto's realisations which I like, the voice ondulates in a web of instruments, how much this is an engineering feature I don't know. And I like the small size of the sounds the singers make, no operatic projection. In fact I like their his Dufay as much as anyone and a lot more than Paul van Nevel's!
« Last Edit: January 22, 2017, 03:44:24 AM by Mandryka »
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Offline San Antone

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Re: The Early Music Club (EMC)
« Reply #936 on: January 27, 2017, 06:12:13 AM »
The Unknown Lover: Songs by Solage and Machaut
Gothic Voices



This recording from 2006 by Gothic Voices was the first to be released without Christopher Page, the founder of the group.  It contains a group of songs, mostly from the Chantilly Codex by Machaut and the illusive Solage.

We know virtually nothing about Solage other than that he lived and flourished in the late 14th century, France.  There are musical stylistic reasons to date him during the period of Ars Subtilior and references in the texts to historical persons who lived in the late 14th - early 15th century.  We only have ten songs by him and two that are usually attributed to him, and all appear on this recording.

His style will often take the music to remote harmonic areas: Particularly striking are his frequent use of sequence and unusually low tessitura. Though sequential repetition also features in songs by his contemporaries, Solage takes the idea much further, particularly in Fumeux fume and Le mont Aon, where harmonic sequential descents provoke shifts to distant tonal areas. Calextone qui fut is similarly unorthodox in its tonal language and features an especially sophisticated musical structure. 

The seven songs by Machaut sprinkled through the program utilize the same three song forms. While they are described here as less familiar, only one is a first recording, the last one listed, and three others have been recorded quite frequently.

The Gothic Voices present this music very well and collectors who are interested in this era should not hesitate to grab this disc, a real treasure.

Offline Mandryka

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Re: The Early Music Club (EMC)
« Reply #937 on: January 27, 2017, 08:41:35 AM »
The Unknown Lover: Songs by Solage and Machaut
Gothic Voices



This recording from 2006 by Gothic Voices was the first to be released without Christopher Page, the founder of the group.  It contains a group of songs, mostly from the Chantilly Codex by Machaut and the illusive Solage.

We know virtually nothing about Solage other than that he lived and flourished in the late 14th century, France.  There are musical stylistic reasons to date him during the period of Ars Subtilior and references in the texts to historical persons who lived in the late 14th - early 15th century.  We only have ten songs by him and two that are usually attributed to him, and all appear on this recording.

His style will often take the music to remote harmonic areas: Particularly striking are his frequent use of sequence and unusually low tessitura. Though sequential repetition also features in songs by his contemporaries, Solage takes the idea much further, particularly in Fumeux fume and Le mont Aon, where harmonic sequential descents provoke shifts to distant tonal areas. Calextone qui fut is similarly unorthodox in its tonal language and features an especially sophisticated musical structure. 

The seven songs by Machaut sprinkled through the program utilize the same three song forms. While they are described here as less familiar, only one is a first recording, the last one listed, and three others have been recorded quite frequently.

The Gothic Voices present this music very well and collectors who are interested in this era should not hesitate to grab this disc, a real treasure.

The version of Calextone that I like the most is on an album by Michele Pasotti called Metamorfose Trecento, you can find it streaming very easily. The whole album seems very enjoyable to me.
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Offline San Antone

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Re: The Early Music Club (EMC)
« Reply #938 on: January 27, 2017, 09:12:59 AM »
The version of Calextone that I like the most is on an album by Michele Pasotti called Metamorfose Trecento, you can find it streaming very easily. The whole album seems very enjoyable to me.

I am listening to Metamorfose Trecento right now on Spotify.  Have you heard the Gothic Voices version?  The effect is entirely different since it is sung by a group of three male singers in low register - very strange and wonderful.  The version by Michele Pasotti is fine but sounds rather like standard fare by comparison.

Offline Mandryka

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Re: The Early Music Club (EMC)
« Reply #939 on: January 27, 2017, 09:52:08 AM »
I am listening to Metamorfose Trecento right now on Spotify.  Have you heard the Gothic Voices version?  The effect is entirely different since it is sung by a group of three male singers in low register - very strange and wonderful.  The version by Michele Pasotti is fine but sounds rather like standard fare by comparison.


Calextone, qui fut dame terrouse,
A Jupiter fit un doulz sacrefice,
Tant qu'il la mist conme sa vraye espouse
Hault ou troune, et li fu moult propice ;
Et puis amoureusement
La courouna sur toutes richement :
Lors touz lez dieux li feirent per homage
Joieux recept et amoureux soulage.


What I hear is that Gothic Voices take it too quickly and I think the performance is superficial, they're not good with the poetry. Listen, for example, to the way the singer for Pasotti finds tenderness in "Et puis amoureusement" and nobility in "La courouna sur toutes richement". Similar thoughts for "Joieux recept et amoureux soulage.", especially "amoureux soulage." You find nothing like this in Page's version.

What Page does sounds strange maybe, but it's an empty and self serving strangeness: it does nothing to enhance the meaning of the song. I just disagree that it's wonderful.

I don't like the way Christopher Page uses voices here, rather than combine soloist and instruments, and I prefer a higher register generally. But that's just a matter of taste I think, nothing interesting about the music hangs on it, does it?
« Last Edit: January 27, 2017, 10:02:59 AM by Mandryka »
Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen