Featuring Laura Zaerr, harp; David Rogers, lute; and Aage Nielsen, douçaine
Tennyson wrote: “In the Spring a young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love.” At no time or place has this been truer than in medieval Paris, a cosmopolitan city filled with young students and carefree clerics who often put their considerable talents for poetry and music to work in the service of love. Prominent among them was a budding class of professional musicians who, after fulfilling their obligations as singers at Notre Dame Cathedral, gathered in the pubs, the streets and the meadows to sing, dance and celebrate the new season with lighthearted poems and songs. But the pains of love expressed in the poetry of courtly love were never far away. France’s most famous poet, Guillaume de Machaut, was also her most famous composer, and he left behind Europe’s largest body of 14th century lyric poetry set to music. Younger composers as far away as Avignon and Milan expanded on his innovations, developing a learned ars subtilior style loaded with rhythmic complexities not heard again until the 20th century.
In this concert, Vox Resonat presents amusing motets that straddle the cultures of cloister and tavern; lively dance songs that imitate the calls of the cuckoo and nightingale; and sophisticated love songs for the most discerning courtly audience. The singers of Vox Resonat are joined by Laura Zaerr, harp; David Rogers, lute; and Aage Nielsen, douçaine.