Variations amoureuses  /  Alla Francesca
Chansons en langue d'oïl et polyphonies latines : l'amour en France au 13e siècle
French love Songs from the 13th Century

[9.6.2020] | |

1. Flos in monte cernitur  [1:20]
2. Chanter et renvoisier sueil  [3:08]  Thibaut de Blaison
3. Sol sub nube latuit  [1:12]
4. Por mon chief reconforter  [3:19]  Gautier de Coincy
5. Sol sub nube latuit  [4:02]

6. Onques n'amai tant que jou fui amee  [5:32]  Richart de Fournival
7. En non Dieu c'est la rage  [1:09]  Li moines de Saint-Denis
8. Or la voi - Chou est la jus desos l'olive  [1:18]
9. Fi, maris, de vostre amour  [0:58]  Adam de la Halle
10. Dame bele et avenant - Fi, mari - Nus n'iert ja jolis  [1:31]

11. Haute chose a en amor  [2:58]  Gilbert de Berneville
12. Que ferai / Ne puet faillir / Descendentibus  [0:52]
13 . Trop est mes maris jalos  [2:43]  Etienne de Meaux
14. Amours dont sui espris  [3:10]  Blondel de Nesles
15. Procurans odium  [1:44]

16. Suspirat spiritus  [1:54]  Philippe le Chancelier
17. L'amours dont sui espris  [1:05]
18. S'amour dont sui espris  [3:15]  Gautier de Coincy
19. Un chant renvoisié - Decantatur  [1:19]
20. Amis, vostre demoree  [0:56]

21. Amours mi fait renvoisier et chanter  [4:07]  Moniot d'Arras
22. Ave nobilis venerabilis Maria  [1:41]
23. Mere au roi puissant  [2:45]
24. Ave nobilis venerabilis Maria  [1:16]
25. Amors qui souprent  [3:22]
26. Ave nobilis venerabilis Maria  [0:57]


[20.6.2021] Remarks
18 June 2021
Todd M. McComb


Le Chansonnier de Bayeux
French Songs from the Early Renaissance
Brigitte Lesne & Pierre Boragno

I only just noticed that Alla Francesca ...


I also want to note Variations amoureuses more specifically, though, as I failed to notice it last year: Like the Thibaut album, there's a degree of theatricality to the presentation, and an urge to variety overall. There's a high degree of mastery as well, and that stands out, but if I'm to criticize, it's that these renditions become almost "too lively" for repeated auditions.... Nonetheless, Variations amoureuses is another landmark album interrogating cross-genre variations, and was added to my personal list. (Indeed, one might note that e.g. their Gautier de Coincy had already exemplified such sacred-secular hybridity back in 1995, so this is very much a long term development for Alla Francesca.) In this, it continues to reflect a generally increasing facility with music of this broad era....

Seeming to build directly on the approach in their Thibaut de Champagne album, itself now several years in the past, this later offering from Alla Francesca (again arrayed around Brigitte Lesne) mines "love songs" across period genres, once again mixing in some polyphony, improvisation etc., but still (mostly) centered on monophonic repertory, i.e. that of the trouvères. The French repertory, though, is bolstered by various correspondences & cross-borrowings with the Latin repertory of the time, and this sense of "variation" is then the focus here.

Once again, there's a degree of theatricality that can be both a blessing & something that weighs on subsequent hearings of the same performance, but otherwise the renditions are superb, from singing to instrumentalists, and across a variety of period genres.

Although the specific program choices end up being rather arbitrary, this is still an intriguing survey of material from the era, performed with great experience & attention to detail. Alla Francesca has forged a very appealing style over these many years (& indeed so many prior albums devoted to overlapping repertory...).

Todd M. McComb