Harmonia Early Music

Immortal Beloved

No, we're not referring to the Beethoven movie... We're celebrating love on this episode with words by Petrarch, iconic lovers like Robin and Marion, and more.

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Botticelli's Venus

Photo: Real Distan (Fotopedia/flickr)

Sandro Botticelli's The Birth of Venus, 1486.

Time capsule for this episode: 1170

Note: The host for this episode is WFIU announcer Annie Corrigan.

Opening

The Consort of Musicke performed “The Wooing of Hodge and Malkyn” – A song written in a broad Somerset dialect by one of England’s most eccentric musical characters, renaissance composer Thomas Ravenscroft.  The song consists of a playful dialogue between Hodge and his sweetheart Malkyn and ends in a wedding scene, including the words: “A bargain’s a bargain, be it good, be it ill.”

We’re exploring the theme of love this hour.

Petrarch’s beloved Laura.  

Petrarch’s collection of 366 lyrical poems, Il Canzoniere, is believed to have been composed over a length of forty years.  The ever-present figure addressed in the majority of the poems is Laura de Noves.  Petrarch first laid eyes on his beloved Laura at Easter mass in the church of Sainte-Claire d’Avignon in 1327.  From that moment, the flames of Petrarch’s passion blazed.  Laura, a married woman, refused her admirer’s advances. Despite this, Petrarch continued his admiration from afar.  Love and longing abound in each passage of Il Canzoniere, and the poet’s masterful compositions offer up reverential worship – a love for the spirit beyond the flesh.

Francesco Landini : Tr. 3 – Lasso di donna (2'49”)
Ensemble Fuoco e Cenere — Gentil mia donna (Arion, 2004)
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Tr. 5 - Cantai, hor piango (4'43”)
Huelgas Ensemble / Paul van Nevel — Lassus: Il Canzoniere di Messer Francesco Petrarca (Harmonia Mundi France , 2004)
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Tr. 8 - O passi sparsi, o pensier vaghi e pronti (4'04”)
I Fagiolini and The English Cornett and Sackbut Ensemble / Robert Hollingworth — Andrea Gabrieli: The Madrigal in Venice . . . (Chandos, 2003)
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Iconic lovers

The Jeu de Robin et Marion is the oldest known French secular play set to music. It was written in the 13th century by trouvère Adam de la Halle, and the play expands upon ideas central to the pastourelle, a genre of lyrical poetry dating back to the 12th century.  In the pastourelle, a knight wins over a maiden he encounters during his travels, often in a field.  The maiden usually resists, however; and, in our play, Marion does just that.  At its onset, Marion swears her love for Robin, the man to whom she is betrothed.  She sings, “Robin loves me, Robin has me. / Robin asked for me, and he will have me.”  (“Robins m’aime, Robins m’a. / Robins m’a demandée, si m’ara.”)

Adam de la Halle : Tr. 23 - Mout me fut grief/Robin m'aime/Portare (3'36”) / Tr. 18 - Je voi douleur avenir/Fauvel nous a (4'08”)
Ensemble Anonymous / Claude Bernatchez — The World Of Robin And Marion (Analekta , 2004)
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Adam de la Halle : Tr. 11 - Trairi deluriau (2'00”)
Tonus Peregrinus — Jeu De Robin Et De Marion (Naxos, 2006)
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A lily among thorns

The Song of Songs, a book of the Hebrew Bible, is an ancient story whose loving dialogue and sensual imagery sparked the imaginations of countless ages.  One line reads:  Sicut lilium inter spinas, sic amica mea inter filias, or, “as the lily among thorns, so is my love among the daughters.”

On its surface, the song seems to follow a couple from courtship to union, but many believe that it’s a parable about God’s love for mankind.

Antoine Brumel : Tr. 16 – Sicut lilium inter spinas (1'19”)
Orlando Consort — The Rose, the Lily & the Whortleberry (Harmonia Mundi , 2005)
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Giovanni Paolo Cima : Tr. 8 – Surge, propera, amica mea (3'39”)
Ensemble La Fenice / Jean Tubery — Un Concert Pour Mazarin (Virgin Classics , 2008)
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Tr. 3 - Nigra sum sed formosa (5'04”)
Ensemble Plus Ultra — Gioseffo Zarlino: Canticum Canticorum (Glossa, 2007)
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Featured release: The return to peace

Well, in every love story, there’s conflict… So, our featured release summons up scenes of peace.

For over twenty years, the group Le Parlement de Musique, directed by Martin Gester, have presented programs bringing to life the 17th and 18th centuries through fusions of music, theatre, visual art, and dance.  Most recently, the ensemble’s activities have been centered on the art of the Baroque cantata.

Their 2012 CD Le Retour de la Paix, or The Return of Peace, explores the theme of war and peace through the music of two French Baroque composers.  The recording includes resounding battle cries by organist and composer Louis-Nicolas Clérambault alongside sighs of bucolic bliss by his contemporary Michel Pignolet de Montéclair!

Louis-Nicolas Clérambault: Tr. 22 - L'isle de Délos: Coulez dans une paix profonde (4'52”); Tr. 19 - L'isle de Délos: Air de musette (2'06”) / Michel Pignolet de Montéclair: Tr. 4 - Le Retour de la Paix: Pourquoi de la Parque inflexible (5'09”)
Le Parlement de Musique / Martin Gester — Le Retour de la Paix (K617 Records , 2012)
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Francesco Landini : Tr. 3 – Lasso di donna (2'49”)
Ensemble Fuoco e Cenere — Gentil mia donna (Arion, 2004)
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album cover
Tr. 5 - Cantai, hor piango (4'43”)
Huelgas Ensemble / Paul van Nevel — Lassus: Il Canzoniere di Messer Francesco Petrarca (Harmonia Mundi France , 2004)
Buy from Amazon »
album cover
Tr. 8 - O passi sparsi, o pensier vaghi e pronti (4'04”)
I Fagiolini and The English Cornett and Sackbut Ensemble / Robert Hollingworth — Andrea Gabrieli: The Madrigal in Venice . . . (Chandos, 2003)
Buy from Amazon »
album cover
Adam de la Halle : Tr. 23 - Mout me fut grief/Robin m'aime/Portare (3'36”) / Tr. 18 - Je voi douleur avenir/Fauvel nous a (4'08”)
Ensemble Anonymous / Claude Bernatchez — The World Of Robin And Marion (Analekta , 2004)
Buy from Amazon »
album cover
Adam de la Halle : Tr. 11 - Trairi deluriau (2'00”)
Tonus Peregrinus — Jeu De Robin Et De Marion (Naxos, 2006)
Buy from Amazon »
album cover
Antoine Brumel : Tr. 16 – Sicut lilium inter spinas (1'19”)
Orlando Consort — The Rose, the Lily & the Whortleberry (Harmonia Mundi , 2005)
Buy from Amazon »
album cover
Giovanni Paolo Cima : Tr. 8 – Surge, propera, amica mea (3'39”)
Ensemble La Fenice / Jean Tubery — Un Concert Pour Mazarin (Virgin Classics , 2008)
Buy from Amazon »
album cover
Tr. 3 - Nigra sum sed formosa (5'04”)
Ensemble Plus Ultra — Gioseffo Zarlino: Canticum Canticorum (Glossa, 2007)
Buy from Amazon »
album cover
Louis-Nicolas Clérambault: Tr. 22 - L'isle de Délos: Coulez dans une paix profonde (4'52”); Tr. 19 - L'isle de Délos: Air de musette (2'06”) / Michel Pignolet de Montéclair: Tr. 4 - Le Retour de la Paix: Pourquoi de la Parque inflexible (5'09”)
Le Parlement de Musique / Martin Gester — Le Retour de la Paix (K617 Records , 2012)
Buy from Amazon »
album cover
T.20: The Wooing of Hodge and Malkyn
The Consort of Musicke — There were three Ravens: Songs, rounds and catches by Thomas Ravenscroft (Virgin Classics , 1991)
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Laura Osterlund

Laura Osterlund is a scriptwriter for Harmonia, recorder player, and student at McGill Univeristy in Montreal, Canada. In 2007, she moved from the suburbs of Chicago, Illinois to Montreal in pursuit of a B.Mus. with major concentrations in Early Music Performance and Music History. Laura is an active musician throughout Montreal and Chicago and an avid memberof the movement to promote Early Music performance, pedagogy, research, and appreciation throughout North America.

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