Author Topic: Guillaume de Machaut (c.1300-1377)  (Read 37109 times)

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Offline Mandryka

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Re: Guillaume de Machaut (c.1300-1377)
« Reply #200 on: November 21, 2018, 06:29:22 AM »
In addition to the OC Hyperion recordings (+ one of their discs on Archiv) and the Machaut-Holliger—where I think I like Holliger's contributions even more than Machaut's—I have the Ensemble Musica Nova set of motets, the Hilliard Ensemble partial set of motets, 3 recordings of the Mass (Clemencic Consort, Diabolus in Musica, & Oxford Camerata), Mercy ou mort (chansons & motets) from Ferrara Ensemble, The Mirror of Narcissus (songs) from Gothic Voices, the 2 polyphonic lais from the Medieval Ensemble of London, and an album from the Clerks—I think it's more motets. And probably some Graindelavoix. There's certainly a very wide variety of choices.

I'll keep an eye out for a real life copy of the recording you posted—Parrott albums regularly turn up in the secondhand bin at my nearest CD shop. (I got their St John Passion for $5 some months ago.)

The Clemencic has become a favourite of mine, partly because I like the singers very much -- not just the mass but all the other stuff on the recording. Right now the thing I'm exploring the most is Ensemble Musica Nova's ballads -- I'm going to hear them sing some Machaut on Saturday!
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Offline San Antone

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Re: Guillaume de Machaut (c.1300-1377)
« Reply #201 on: November 21, 2018, 06:52:10 AM »
Mandryka, in answering your questions, particularly the one about dialogue between the composed and chants, I failed to point out that Machaut based several sections on existing chants.  The tenor of the Kyrie is based on Vatican Kyrie IV, the Sanctus and Agnus correspond to Vatican Mass XVII and the Ite is on Sanctus VIII. The Gloria and Credo have no apparent chant basis, although they are stylistically related to one another.

Offline Mandryka

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Re: Guillaume de Machaut (c.1300-1377)
« Reply #202 on: November 21, 2018, 06:54:40 AM »
Mandryka, in answering your questions, particularly the one about dialogue between the composed and chants, I failed to point out that Machaut based several sections on existing chants.  The tenor of the Kyrie is based on Vatican Kyrie IV, the Sanctus and Agnus correspond to Vatican Mass XVII and the Ite is on Sanctus VIII. The Gloria and Credo have no apparent chant basis, although they are stylistically related to one another.

Thanks for that -- lots to think about!
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Offline Mandryka

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Re: Guillaume de Machaut (c.1300-1377)
« Reply #203 on: January 07, 2019, 11:07:02 PM »
I've read all those writers you refer to, and others.  Andrew Parrott has also written extensively and convincingly on this issue.

I don't really wish to go back and reconstruct the research I did a couple of years ago specifically on the issue of how instruments were or were not  used in sacred music; how late was it when they were beginning to be used and the reasons for the practice of voice-only in the first place.  But here are a few quotes from one article I managed to find quickly among my folders: "Were Musical Instruments Used in the Liturgical Service during the Middle Ages?" by Edmund A. Bowles

 
But this has nothing to do with how this music can be performed.  If you enjoy hearing a mass from the Middle Ages or Renaissance with instruments, by all means enjoy it and look for other recordings like it.  We are all free to listen to, perform and record this music as our taste dictates.

There is no need to try to document a historical argument for adding instruments.  We are not bound by what was or wasn't done 600+ years ago; and it really doesn't matter since what is the deciding factor is more practical: how the musicians wish to make the music, and if there are enough people to support their interpretative and performance choices to sustain a career.

I’ve just read that quote from Edmund Bowles more carefully, and of course, you can’t draw any conclusions from it either about how early masses were performed or how their composers expected them to be performed. I got interested in the question again through a discussion elsewhere about Clemencic’s Dufay. In his sleevenote for his recording of the Missa Ave Regina Coelorum Clemencic is unusually categorical

Quote
According to numerous contemporary reports on interpretation, at the celebration of the great ecclesiastical feast days, "during the customary parts of the singing the kettle drums and wind instruments sounded" -- in fact a type of solemn fanfare was improvised. Passages of particular moment in the mass could be emphasised by the addition of wind instruments and kettle drums

And that led us to try and find the source of these contemporary reports, so far with no success. If Clemencic were younger I’d write to him, but he’s 90 now and it seems wrong to bother him at such a great age.

On the way, someone found this comment about the mass, not about instruments but about fitting the text of the mass to the score, which I thought you may find interesting, given a conversation we had a few weeks ago about the Ockeghem L’homme Armé.

Quote
G R Curtis in “Brussels, Bibliothèque Royale MS. 5557, and the Texting of Dufay's" Ecce ancilla Domini" and" Ave regina celorum"Masses.” Acta musicologica. 1979 Jan 1:73-86.

As in the Ecce ancilla Domini Mass, the underlay in the lowest part, here marked
'bassis', is very problematical. Certainly there is no question of fitting the mass text
rationally in either the Gloria or the Credo without systematic breaking of ligatures
and extensive disalignment and omission of text because of long notes. Problems
of consistency also arise because of the unusual mixture of incipits from both the
Mass and antiphon texts. More specifically, as Planchart has recently observed, the
very precise placing of the syllables of ,Gaude gloriosa' in the bass part of the Gloria
shows that these antiphon words should almost certainly be sung in preference to
those of the Mass.

Given what we’ve seen with the Faugues and Ockeghem L’homme armé, my guess is that this type of practice is not uncommon.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2019, 11:29:01 PM by Mandryka »
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Offline Vinbrulé

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Re: Guillaume de Machaut (c.1300-1377)
« Reply #204 on: February 21, 2019, 10:17:59 PM »
I find this version of Messe de Notre Dame simply irresistible (registered in 1961 !!! )
Alfred Deller avoids the numbers that purists of the liturgy call "proprium"  :)  Doing so he doesn't interrupt the enormous dramatic and motoric push of this wonderful music .  I'm not interested in liturgy , I love the music in itself . 
P.S.  Does it exist a complete recording of the Machaut's  chansons ?   

Offline Mandryka

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Re: Guillaume de Machaut (c.1300-1377)
« Reply #205 on: February 22, 2019, 08:40:19 AM »

P.S.  Does it exist a complete recording of the Machaut's  chansons ?

Not as far as I know, I guess there will be eventually from Orlando Consort.
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Offline Mandryka

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Re: Guillaume de Machaut (c.1300-1377)
« Reply #206 on: February 22, 2019, 11:50:29 PM »
I find this version of Messe de Notre Dame simply irresistible (registered in 1961 !!! )
Alfred Deller avoids the numbers that purists of the liturgy call "proprium"  :)  Doing so he doesn't interrupt the enormous dramatic and motoric push of this wonderful music .  I'm not interested in liturgy , I love the music in itself . 
P.S.  Does it exist a complete recording of the Machaut's  chansons ?

The Deller Consort is too high spirited in the mass for me.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2019, 11:53:01 PM by Mandryka »
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Offline San Antone

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Re: Guillaume de Machaut (c.1300-1377)
« Reply #207 on: February 23, 2019, 12:33:42 AM »
The Deller Consort is too high spirited in the mass for me.

I don't think there was a good recording of the Machaut Messe prior to Andrew Parrott's, which was recorded in 1983, released in 1984. 

Offline Mandryka

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Re: Guillaume de Machaut (c.1300-1377)
« Reply #208 on: February 24, 2019, 12:06:42 AM »
I don't think there was a good recording of the Machaut Messe prior to Andrew Parrott's, which was recorded in 1983, released in 1984.

That would be very strange if it were true, but it isn't. The Schubertian recording by Pro Musica Antiqua is one of my favourite things in the universe.


« Last Edit: February 24, 2019, 12:18:44 AM by Mandryka »
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Offline San Antone

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Re: Guillaume de Machaut (c.1300-1377)
« Reply #209 on: February 24, 2019, 12:28:59 AM »
That would be very strange if it were true, but it isn't. The Schubertian recording by Pro Musica Antiqua is one of my favourite things in the universe.



To each his own.  It is certainly true that I do not like any of the recordings of the Messe prior to Andrew Parrott's. 

That said, Stafford Cape's recording is better than the rest of those early recordings.  But it is a combination of the misguided musicology and primitive sound quality, plus the fact that there are at least half a dozen more recent recordings which are so much better, that I do not feel the need to go back and subject myself to recordings prior to 1984.

 ;)
« Last Edit: February 24, 2019, 01:20:08 AM by San Antone »

Offline Mandryka

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Re: Guillaume de Machaut (c.1300-1377)
« Reply #210 on: February 24, 2019, 04:00:38 AM »


That said, Stafford Cape's recording is better than the rest of those early recordings. 

 ;)

Ah yes, I sense a chink appearing in the carapace.
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Offline Vinbrulé

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Re: Guillaume de Machaut (c.1300-1377)
« Reply #211 on: February 24, 2019, 04:07:19 AM »
That would be very strange if it were true, but it isn't. The Schubertian recording by Pro Musica Antiqua is one of my favourite things in the universe.



Perhaps you posted the wrong image.
I have listened to some extracts of the Machaut's Mass directed by Safford Cape (1956) :  really it seems to come from another universe, considering the , perhaps too high spirited  :) , version of Alfred Deller.  Nonetheless well worthy of notice and to listen to it with affection .
Now I ask :  are we sure those years (I mean Fifties and Sixties) were really "years of dark ignorance"  ??   
P.S. After many and many versions of the Art of Fugue I've listened to , still I can't forget the performance of Karl Munchinger with Stuttgart Ch.Orchestra. It still moves me !     

Offline Mandryka

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Re: Guillaume de Machaut (c.1300-1377)
« Reply #212 on: February 24, 2019, 04:38:49 AM »

Now I ask :  are we sure those years (I mean Fifties and Sixties) were really "years of dark ignorance"  ??   
   

I think that historians know a little more about what the score means, and how it was played in medieval times. So in that rather academic sense we're slightly less ignorant now than in Staffor Cape's day/

That academic work can inspire performers to try out new things, see what it goes like. The most impressive example of this is how a bit of research which suggested that motets in a corner of France were sometimes for a short period of time sung OVPP a capella led to all the experiments by Gothic Voices, Sequentia, Orlando Consort etc.

Whether it's a success or not depends on how its received, and what makes it well received is a complicated question. The zeitgeist may lead in a different direction.
« Last Edit: February 24, 2019, 04:40:28 AM by Mandryka »
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Offline San Antone

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Re: Guillaume de Machaut (c.1300-1377)
« Reply #213 on: February 24, 2019, 05:33:29 AM »
Now I ask :  are we sure those years (I mean Fifties and Sixties) were really "years of dark ignorance"  ??     

Yes.  It was once widely accepted that Machaut wrote the Messe de Nostre Dame for the coronation of Charles V.  This caused most performances to assume a certain pomp and additional fanfare than is appropriate (hence brass and other issues of scale).  Is has been established that the Charles V coronation had nothing to do with this work (although Rheims cathedral was the site for coronations, his did not involve this mass), and that Machaut wrote the mass for more personal reasons related to a memorial for his brother's and his memory and to honor the Virgin Mary. 

There are other issues related to purely musical decisions, e.g. whether to include any instruments, how large a vocal ensemble, and whether to use female voices, and the thorny practice of how to handle accidentals, which have benefited from scholarly research done since the 1970s.

Of course you are free to enjoy any recording for any reason.  It is not that I dislike the recordings from the '50s and '60s because of some abstract musicological reason; I just prefer the sound of some of the more recent recordings.

My favorites are Andrew Parrott, Mary Berry, Marcel Peres, Diabolus in Musica, Dominique Vellard, Patricia Stewart and Bjorn Schmelzer (who takes some liberties himself but in a direction that produces more pleasant results, IMO).
« Last Edit: February 24, 2019, 05:36:03 AM by San Antone »

Offline Mandryka

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Re: Guillaume de Machaut (c.1300-1377)
« Reply #214 on: April 09, 2019, 07:37:42 PM »


Very good singing here from Emanuel Bonnardot, the diction.

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Offline Mandryka

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Re: Guillaume de Machaut (c.1300-1377)
« Reply #215 on: April 11, 2019, 12:25:39 AM »


Very good singing here from Emanuel Bonnardot, the diction.

These are all the recordings of Lais that I've found.

Qui n'aroit autre deport (Lay de Bon Espoir)   Mauillon (Remede) ; Ensemble Giles Binchois ; Brian Gulland (Babel)

1. Loyauté, que point ne delay      Mauillon (Tourment) ; Binkley

16. Je ne cesse de prier (Le Lay de la Fonteinne)   Davies Bros ; Binkley ; Hilliard

17. S'onques dolereusement (Le Lay de Confort)   Davies Bros

18. Longuement me sui tenus (Le Lay de Bonne Esperance)   Oxford Camerata ; Orlando

22. Qui bien aimme a tart oublie (Le Lay de Plour)   Bonnardot (Devotion)

 Bonndarnot  waxes lyrical about the Lai de plour in the booklet

Quote
In Le lay de plour, the metallic sound of the cittern takes us into a world of magic, reminding us of the Celtic background in which the genre was created. The breadth of the work — its great range of pitch as well as its length — goes well beyond the framework of an ordinary song. It is an opera in miniature in which the singer is both narrator and protagonist; the rigour of the relation-ship between the text and the music (very little melismatic writing and practically no complex vocal ornaments) reinforces the depth and the overwhelmingly convincing power of this poetic masterpiece. Following in the path of the jongleurs who performed the works of the trouveres in the Middle Ages, I have sought through the spontaneity of the voice and the colours of the instruments to give life and humanity to the sublime and timeless art of Guillaume de Machaut.
EMMANUEL BONNARDOT

Translation: John Sidgwick
8

And the booklet has a good essay by Isabelle Ragnard which makes some interesting claims about it


Quote
The lai, the longest and freest of the medieval poetic forms, was often thought to be the most difficult of all. Eustache Deschamps (c1346—c1406) remarks in his Art de dirtier that the lai is an `extremely difficult form, both to write and to invent'. The absence of a refrain, a relatively uncon-straining framework for the versification, requires that the poet 'invent' the form as he goes along, just as he freely invents his poetic material. The form stabilized a little during the course of the four-teenth century: by this stage it consisted of twelve strophes with independent metrical structures (i.e. different rhythmic and rhyme schemes) with the sole exception of the last, which was modelled on the opening strophe. Each strophe is subdivided into two or four parts which are metrically ident-ical and are sung to the same melody. The music of the first strophe is repeated in the last one, but generally transposed a fifth higher. Only Machaut's first lai, Loyaute point ne delay, is atypical in that it is perfectly regular in its strophic structure, both strophes being sung to the same melody. The real skill of the composer's art consists in the degree of musical invention and concentrated expression that he manages to instil into the lai. The close association of word and melody is emphasized by writing that is almost exclusively syllabic. Each line of verse corresponds to a musical phrase whose metrical boundaries and caesuras are marked by a cadence and a silence. Certain of Machaut's lais cover so wide a vocal range, from the lowest to the highest notes of the singing voice, that a method of performance has been suggested in which two singers alternated or answered each other in dialogue. These shifts of register, like the variety of the melodic lines, intensify and amplify the emotional content of the poem. In the 'Lai de plour' Qui bien aimme,1 for example, the abrupt change of octave at the beginning of the tenth strophe seems to translate the despairing cry addressed by the singer to the dead friend.

Bonnardot is fabulous in the 10th strophe!

I don't know if Orlando Consort will be trying to make sense of any lais; it's quite a challenge to make them into music if you do it without instruments, and I'm not convinced it's a sensible idea for them to try.
« Last Edit: April 11, 2019, 12:31:06 AM by Mandryka »
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Offline Vinbrulé

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Re: Guillaume de Machaut (c.1300-1377)
« Reply #216 on: April 14, 2019, 11:14:14 PM »
I think Bonnardot is fabulous in every bit of this marvellous disc.  This is the CD that caused my falling in love with Machaut's music !

Offline Mandryka

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Re: Guillaume de Machaut (c.1300-1377)
« Reply #217 on: June 10, 2019, 11:44:32 AM »
Bonnardot sings another lai, the lai mortel, otherwise unrecorded as far as I know, in this rather attractive CD - he really is a very good singer.

« Last Edit: June 10, 2019, 11:46:35 AM by Mandryka »
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Offline Roy Bland

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Re: Guillaume de Machaut (c.1300-1377)
« Reply #218 on: June 16, 2019, 02:27:36 AM »
Is this piece really of him?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m1p5dTEgsdU
It was theme of an old tv series.
TIA

Offline North Star

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Re: Guillaume de Machaut (c.1300-1377)
« Reply #219 on: June 16, 2019, 06:41:05 AM »
Is this piece really of him?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m1p5dTEgsdU
It was theme of an old tv series.
TIA
No, it seems to have been written by Antonino Riccardo Luciani for the TV series
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