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Flower of Chivalry

Flower of Chivalry

Ref: CDG1117

24 tracks 61 min
Click here to preview trk 1

Tranquil medieval music featuring The Hilliard Ensemble

An emphasis on peace and calm in this selection of medieval music, including gentle songs by one of the greatest composers of the age, Guillaume Dufay, whose music charmed the ears of the Burgundian court in the fifteenth century. Plus harp music by King Henry VIII.

Price    9.99

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There is an emphasis on peace and calm in this selection of medieval music. It includes gentle songs by one of the greatest composers of the age, Guillaume Dufay, whose music charmed the ears of the Burgundian court in the fifteenth century. Plus English harp music by King Henry VIII, and songs by Martin Codax from thirteenth century Spain.

1 Unicorns in the Mist Anonymous
Sirinu
2 Consort XVI Henry VIII (1491-1547)
Martin Souter, clavichord
3 Navré je suis I have been wounded by love Guillaume Dufay (c.1400-1474)
The Hilliard Ensemble
4 Consort VIII Henry VIII
Victoria Davies, harp
5 Entre vous, gentils amoureux All you good-mannered lovers Guillaume Dufay
The Hilliard Ensemble
6 Consort IV Henry VIII
Martin Souter, clavichord
7 Belle, veuilles moy retenir Lovely woman, please make me your lover Guillaume Dufay
The Hilliard Ensemble
8 Je veuil chanter de cuer joyeux My heart will sing for joy Guillaume Dufay
The Hilliard Ensemble
9 Consort III Henry VIII
10 Consort XXII Henry VIII
Victoria Davies, harp
11 Pavan from Mulliner Book Anonymous
Martin Souter, organ
12 Ce jour de l'an voudray joye mener This New Year I will have joy Guillaume Dufay
The Hilliard Ensemble
13 Consort II Henry VIII
14 Consort XIII Henry VIII
Victoria Davies, harp
15 Par droit je puis I have every right to complain and moan Guillaume Dufay
The Hilliard Ensemble
16 Consort V Henry VIII
Martin Souter, clavichord
17 Consort IX Henry VIII
Jon Banks, harp
18 Ondas do mar de uigo Sea waves of Vigo Martin Codax (fl.1230-1270)
19 Mandadd'ei comigo My love's coming home Martin Codax
20 Mia yrmana fr[emosa treides] comigo Fair sister, come haste with me Martin Codax
21 Ay Deus se sab'ora meu amigo Ah God, could thou my lover know Martin Codax
22 Quantas sabedes amar amigo To Vigo's sea come haste Martin Codax
23 Eno sagrado enuigo On holy ground in Vigo Heighes/Codax
24 Ay ondas que eu uin veer Waves that I came to see Martin Codax
Sirinu


The music on this album deals with universal themes in a timeless and subtle way. The programme interweaves instrumental music from the court of Henry VIII, much of it composed by the King himself, with songs of love and hope by the great medieval musician, Guillaume Dufay. It concludes with a series of songs by the Spanish musician, Martin Codax.

Henry VIII was an able musician, and a composer as well. A manuscript survives of music from his court which contains a surprising number of compositions, both instrumental and vocal, by the monarch. The consorts are particularly beautiful. Like much music of the period, these works can be performed in a variety of ways, as solo instrumental numbers, or as works for more than one performer. Here, they are each played by a single performer, but a variety of instruments can be heard.

Guillaume Dufay was probably born in or around Cambrai, in what is now Northern France, but he soon drifted South to Italy, where he studied at the university in Bologna, and became a priest. By 1428 he was singing in the papal choir in Rome, although he kept contact with the North, and worked in Savoy and Cambrai, which was under the jurisdiction of the Burgundian court. The songs by Dufay on this album are unaccompanied, composed for three or four voices, performed by the incomparable Hilliard Ensemble. These songs appear in an important manuscript held in the Bodleian Library, MS Canon.Misc.213. This very beautiful book was written out by hand, possibly by a musician from Saint Mark's, Venice, in the first half of the fifteenth century. It was 'discovered' amongst the Bodleian's collections as late as 1895 by Sir John Stainer, who made the first modern edition. Since his initial study, it has become one of the most discussed of all pre-Renaissance music manuscripts.

Martin Codax was a Spanish troubadour, and thus part of a long tradition of travelling court entertainers who could sing and play musical instruments. Codax is one of the earliest named composers and his songs of the sea and of longing for love are to be found in a manuscript. His music is poetic and intense, similar to that of Dufay. It is performed here with instrumental accompaniment from the hurdy-gurdy, one of the most traditional and popular of early instruments. The original songs have music only for the voice, and the arrangement is conjectural. In fact, the sixth song has no music in the original source at all, but music has been composed by Dr Simon Heighes for this recording, in the style of the songs around it.

Four solo instruments can be heard on the album: two harps, a clavichord and an organ. The latter two are keyboard instruments: modern copies of fifteenth and sixteenth century originals. The first harp is a modern instrument (played by Victoria Davies) and the second a copy of a medieval harp (played by Jon Banks). It is smaller and has fewer strings than its modern counterpart.



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