Nature introduces her children to Machaut

The Cure for Love

Music and Poetry of Guillaume de Machaut, 1300-1377

An intimate portrait of the French great medieval poet and musician.   Selections from his masterpiece "The Remedy of Fortune" are sung by Lionheart and read in the original French, giving listeners a fascinating glimpse into Machaut's sound-world and the delights (and dangers) of courtly love. 

Click here for an excerpt from "Rose, liz printemps" in RealAudio.

(Click here if you need the RealAudio player.)

E-PULSE (Tower Records)


Robert Levine

GUILLAUME DE MACHAUT (ca. 1300-1377) was, during his lifetime, as well known for his poetry as he was for his music. His meters, his rhymes, as well as the music he composed to accompany them, are varied and architecturally odd: It isn't rare to hear two or more of the voices in a four- or five-part work singing at different tempi, and since line lengths within the works can also differ, the result is both intriguing and a bit confusing. Watching (as well as listening to) them performed, as some were at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art on June 22, is enormously helpful -- it's like looking at a blueprint. The "builders" (one might also say "decorators") at the event were the six-voice, all-male group called LIONHEART, and they brought the music and the poems to life. Aside from six chansons, the program was devoted to the "Remede de Fortune," a series of poems in different forms (ballade, rondelet, lay, etc) concerning a young man's first love, for varying number of voices. The solo singing -- often accompanied by an extra voice or two as drone -- was as riveting as the rich polyphony. A speaker, Alexandra Montano, kept the narrative going between numbers, and listening ideally in the Met's medieval sculpture garden, one became convinced of the young man's earnest passion. A transporting experience. (Levine) 


Four Chansons:
Virelai:   Douce dame jolie
Ballade:  Des toutes flours
Ballade:  Je ne cuit pas
Ballade:  Mes esperis
* * *

Selections from the Remede de fortune

Verse:  Cilz qui veult aucun art aprendre . . .
Lay:  qui n'aroit autre deport
Verse:  Et port ce que nulz ne savoit . . .
Complainte:  Tels rit au main qui au soir pleure
Verse:  Et quant a par moy debatus . . .
Chanson Roial:  Joie, plaisance, et douce nourriture
Verse:  Et quant elle ot son chant fine . . .
Baladelle:  En amer a douce vie
Verse:  Si m'abeli tant leur douls chans . . .
Ballade:  Dame, de qui toute ma joie
Verse:  Et me tendi son petit doy . . .
Chanson Balladee:  Dame, a vous sans retollir
Verse:  Atant de ma dame parti . . .
Rondelet:  Dame, mon cuer (click for a photo of the original manuscript)
Verse:  Et met cuer, corps, ame, et vigour . . .
Two Chansons:
Virelai:  quant je suis mis
Rondeau:  Rose, liz, printemps


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