Sound Recordings

From the inception of our project, it was important to us to maintain close links with performers and to understand how they would be interacting with the materials with which they are presented. To this end, the project team has worked closely with two specialist ensembles, the Orlando Consort and Ensemble Le Basile:

The Orlando Consort Ensemble Le Basile

Matthew Venner   counter tenor

Mark Dobell   tenor

Angus Smith   tenor

Donald Greig   baritone

Katharine Hawnt   cantus

Yvonne Eddy   cantus

Kirsty Whatley   brae harp

Marc Lewon   lute, gittern

Uri Smilansky   vielle

   

One aspect of this collaboration, which will be discussed in more detail below, was the commissioning of a series of recordings to accompany essays on this website illustrating issues associated with editing and performing. In addition, working with the Orlando consort has lead to an exciting new venture to record the complete polyphonic songs of Machaut using our musical edition. The first of these CDs, dedicated to the songs of the Voir Dit, is available from Hyperion from October 2013.

The partnership between scholars and performers that our project has fostered has opened a meaningful two-way exchange, inviting the editorial team to incorporate feedback from practitioners into later stages of editing and also to request the recording of extracts of particular interest that might not have been recorded in a commercial context. To make the most of this advantageous position, we used these recordings as the kernel around which to generate a series of discussions concerning different aspects of Machaut's oeuvre, its wider cultural context, the task of editing it, and recommendations for using the edition further. In that context, the recordings are incorporated into the prose as appropriate, along with scores of the music performed and links to images of the sources they are based on.

These recorded examples rarely comprise full works, but present instead short sections for comparison between versions, or at most, the first iteration of the complete music. The combinations of performers for each example were conceived to match the discussions to which they are attached. Those examples that are designed to convey a more general appreciation of a work may present combinations appropriate for the concert-hall stage. Other examples are used to make a specific point about a technical aspect of the music, and in these cases instrumentation was chosen to clarify and enhance the audability of the example, and should not, therefore, be taken as recommendations for use in any other performative context.

These recordings were made at St John's Church, Loughton, February 4th-6th, 2013, and produced and edited by Mark Brown, with Dave Hinitt and Dave Rowell as engineers.

The following table gives an overview of the materials recorded for these online sound files, as well as links to the discussions as part of which the scores and sound files appear.

Reference/ composer Incipit Source Section performed Discussions
B4 Biauté qui toutes autres pere A AB (Cantus) MS E Contratenors
    A AAB

MS E Contratenors   ¦   Conflicting ficta

    E AAB MS E Contratenors   ¦   Implied accidentals
B12 Pour ce que tous mes chans fais C B Early, non-standardised versions   ¦   Rhythmic organisation on the Modus level
    A B Early, non-standardised versions   ¦   Machaut's heritage
B15 Se je me pleing, je n'en puis mais A AAB Machaut's heritage   ¦   Quoting Machaut
B22 Il m'est avis qu'il n'est dons de Nature C AAB Towards an established MS tradidion   ¦   Implied accidentals
    A AAB Towards an established MS tradidion   ¦   Conflicting ficta   ¦   Reception and Identity
    PR AAB Reception and Identity
B23 De Fortune me doy pleindre et loer A AAB MS E Contratenors   ¦   Quoting Machaut   ¦   Rhythmic organisation on the Modus level
    E AAB (no Triplum) MS E Contratenors
    E AAB MS E Contratenors
B31 De toutes flours n'avoit et de tous fruis A AAB MS E Contratenors   ¦   Reception and Identity
    E AAB MS E Contratenors
    Fa AAB Reception and Identity
B38 Phyton, le mervilleus serpent A A Quoting Machaut
B41 (RdF4) En amer a douce vie C A extract Voice function and polyphonic cadence folmulae
    A A extract Voice function and polyphonic cadence folmulae
    A B extract Voice function and polyphonic cadence folmulae   ¦   Harmonic adjustment using ficta
B42 (RdF5) Dame, de qui toute ma joie vient A A extract Harmonic adjustment using ficta
    A B extract Implied accidentals   ¦   Harmonic adjustment using ficta
L5/6 Par trois raisons me vueil deffendre A Str. II extract Rhythmic organisation on the Modus level
L6/7 Amours doucement me tente A Str. II extract Ficta discrepancies between sources
    E Str. II extract Ficta discrepancies between sources
    A Str. VII extract Ficta discrepancies between sources
    Vg Str. VII extract Ficta discrepancies between sources
L8/12 Un mortel lay vueil commencier (Le Lay Mortel) A Str. III extract (x2) Special notational cases (x2)
L16/22 Qui bien aimme a tart oublie (Le Lay de Plour) A Str. I extract (x4) Duplication of given accidentals and working back from the cadence (x4)   ¦   Supporting and amplifying ficta
    A Str. II extract (x6) Melodic correction using ficta (x6)   ¦   Supporting and amplifying ficta
    A Str. X extract (x2) Melodic correction using ficta (x2)   ¦   Supporting and amplifying ficta
    A Str. XI extract (x4) Intentionally difficult ficta
L19 (RdF1) Qui n'aroit autre deport (Lay de Bon Espoir) C Str. IX-X extract Problem places
    E Str. IX-X extract Problem places
    A Str. IX-X extract Problem places
M1 Quant en moy / Amour et biauté / Amara valde Chant Responsorium & versus extract Creating text constellations in a motet   ¦   Manuscript error or deliberate deviation
    A Extract (Tenor) Ordering motets through mensuration and range   ¦   Tension through counterpoint
    A Beginning Technicalities and ficta-addition   ¦   Ordering motets through mensuration and range
    A Complete Intentionally difficult ficta   ¦   Tension through counterpoint
M11 Dame, je sui cilz / Fins cuers doulz / Fins cuers doulz A Complete (Tenor) Machaut's heritage
    A Complete (x2) Conflicting ficta   ¦   M11 as a case study for ficta (x2)   ¦   Machaut's heritage   ¦   Manuscript error or deliberate deviation
R7 Se vous n’estes pour mon guerredon née A AB MS E Contratenors   ¦   Voice function and polyphonic cadence folmulae   ¦   Quoting Machaut   ¦   Reception and Identity
    E AB MS E Contratenors   ¦   Voice function and polyphonic cadence folmulae   ¦   Reception and Identity
    ModA AB Reception and Identity
R10 Rose lis printemps verdure C AB Voice function and polyphonic cadence folmulae
    C AB (alternative Contratenor) Voice function and polyphonic cadence folmulae   ¦   Supporting and amplifying ficta
    A AB Un-notated mensuration changes   ¦   Editorial ficta - melodic correction   ¦   Quoting Machaut
R18 Puis qu’en oubli sui de vous dous amis A AB MS E Contratenors
    E AB MS E Contratenors
V3 Aymi! dame de valour A B Irregular tempus grouping
V7 Puis que ma dolour agrée B B Mistakes and corrections
V10 De bonté, de valour B A (refrain) Ficta differences in written out repetitions
    B A (versicle & refrain extract) Ficta differences in written out repetitions
    Vg B Mistakes and corrections
    B B Mistakes and corrections
    E B (x2) Mistakes and corrections (x2)
V16 C'est force, faire le vueil A A Unintentional variants
    E A Unintentional variants
    A B Reading a source, reading an oeuvre
    E B Reading a source, reading an oeuvre
V18 Helas! et comment aroie A A extract (x3) Problem places (x3)   ¦   Un-notated mensuration changes (x3)
V33 (RdF6) Dame, a vous sans retollir A AB Text, meter, mensuration choice and un-notated upbeats
Anon. Dame qui fust sit res bien assenée PR AAB Quoting Machaut
Anon. Ma dame, ma congié donne Ch AAB Quoting Machaut
Denis le Grant? Se je chant mains que ne suelh Iv Beginning Machaut's heritage
Anon. S'espoir n'estoit qui me donne confort PR/Ut AAB Quoting Machaut
Antonello da Caserta Beauté parfait et bonté sovrayne ModA AAB Quoting Machaut
Magister Franciscus Phyton, phyton, besste tres venimeuse, PR A Quoting Machaut
Matteo da Perugia Se je me plaing de Fortune, j’ay droit ModA A Technicalities and ficta-addition   ¦   Quoting Machaut
Matteo da Perugia Contratenor – Se vous n’estes ModA [See R7 above]  

 

News

CD Cover Image for "Machaut: A Burning Heart" by the Orlando Consort

A Burning Heart

Available now from the Hyperion website, the Orlando Consort's latest CD, A Burning Heart, is already receiving critical acclaim. Blair Sanderson, writing for AllMusic.com, describes the Consort's singing as "wonderfully evocative and full of medieval atmosphere." While Brian Wilson, for MusicWeb International, declares: "I doubt...if either Chaucer or Chrétien could have imagined anything better than the singing on this and the other Orlando Consort Machaut recordings."

 

***********************STOP PRESS!!!!!!!!************************

The Complete Poetry and Music of Guillaume de Machaut Volume 1 is out now!!!!

Volume 1: The Debate Poems is now available in print.

You can also enjoy the entire volume online via the Middle English Texts Website.

Edited and translated by R. Barton Palmer, with art historical commentary by Domenic Leo, and musical commentary by Uri Smilansky, the volume contains  Le Jugement dou Roy de Behaigne, Le Jugement dou Roy de Navarre, and Le Lay de Plour.

 

 

 

The Dart of Love

Available now from the Hyperion website, The Dart of Love is second in a series of recordings by the Orlando Consort of Machaut's music. It has already received critical acclaim:

The Orlando Consort perform these works with matchless purity of tone and clarity of diction. (Limelight, Australia)

The programme is nicely varied in mood and scoring, ranging from four-voice ballades and motets to a single-voice virelai, and every combination in between … a thoughtful essay by Anne Stone makes audible sense of the many connections between the pieces on this valuable, impressive recording. (Gramophone)

The Ferrell-Vogüé Machaut Manuscript

Full colour facsimile with introductory study by Lawrence Earp, Domenic Leo and Carla Shapreau. Preface by Christopher de Hamel

"It is a vast manuscript of royal luxury, 390 leaves of parchment, 314 mm. by 220 mm., illustrated with 118 enchanting miniatures by a workshop of court illuminators led by the Master of the Bible of Jean de Sy.They include pictures of gothic chivalry and romance, with mythology and natural history. Music is included on 235 pages of the manuscript, with almost the entire corpus of the ballades, lais and motets of Machaut, as well as his great polyphonic setting of the Mass, the four-part Messe de Nostre-Dame.The manuscript has never before been photographed in its entirety or reproduced in colour."

"Vol. 1 introductory study (225 pages colour/mono), vol. 2 facsimile (789 full colour pages) on 150gsm matt art paper. Full size reproduction, hard bound in buckram, presented in hard slipcover."

Available now from DIAMM Publications.

The Art of Grafted Song: Citation and Allusion in the Age of Machaut by Yolanda Plumley

Available now from Oxford University Press

"Presents the first detailed exploration of citational practices in the song-writing tradition of fourteenth-century France. The first monograph-length study on the Ars nova chanson with new evidence about the emergence of the new polyphonic chanson. Provides new evidence about the circle of poets and composers who engaged with Machaut and created a new style of poetry and song. Explores little studied collections of lyrics and songs of the period and provides fresh insights and perspectives on Machaut's works."

 

 

New Voir Dit CD

Available now from the Hyperion website.

This new CD from the acclaimed Orlando Consort showcases songs from Machaut's Livre dou Voir Dit (‘Book of the True Tale’). The recording was inspired by collaborative work between our project team and the Orlando Consort who have been trialling the new edition being produced. You can watch a video of the consort discussing their recording on YouTube.

It has already received critical acclaim: David Fallows for Gramophone writes:

To my ears, this is a dream team, with the enormously experienced Donald Greig and Angus Smith alongside ...Matthew Venner and Mark Dobell, who display the most magnificent articulation of the texts alongside the understanding of the lines gained from their senior colleagues...always dead in tune, always beautifully balanced...the unforgettable track here is Angus Smith performing the 'Lay de Bon Esperance', over 20 minutes of unaccompanied solo singing...He's terrific.