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Harmonia Early Music

Medieval Music From England And France

Two recordings explore a pastiche of musical styles in England and France across several centuries.

NASA MODIS satellite imagery of the Strait of Dover, the narrowest part of the English Channel.

Photo: NASA

NASA MODIS satellite imagery of the Strait of Dover, the narrowest part of the English Channel.

Masters of the Rolls

Recorded in 1999 and reissued by Hyperion Records in 2012, Christopher Page’s Gothic Voices sing music by anonymous English composers of the 14th century.  The subject of the music performed on the disc ranges from political events in the reign of Edward II, to religious texts, mostly singing the praises of the Virgin Mary, to a motet that talks about the singers who are performing the weekly Lady Mass at court. There are a pastiche of styles includes monophonic songs, pieces where the voices share the same text, and motets where the voices sing different texts simultaneously. None of it is easy listening, though there is a great deal of satisfaction in each style.

Tr. 17, Stella maris illustrns omnia; Tr. 22, Musicorum collegio/In templo dei/tenor; Tr. 14, Jesu fili verginis
Gothic Voices — Masters of the Rolls (Hyperion, 2012)
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Crossing the Channel

In 2012, a recording titled Crossing the Channel was recorded by Ensemble Providencia, a vocal group made up of four women.  The channel that separates England from France is only about 21 miles  at the Strait of Dover.  This recording presents music from both sides of the English Channel and explores how that geography informed musical styles. It surveys the development of polyphonic music from about the 10th to the 13th century in England and France, and the depth of exchange between the two countries.

Tr. 3, Te laudant angeli; Tr. 8, Worldes blis; Tr. 6, Eclipsim patitur
Ensemble Providencia — Crossing The Channel (Tacet/Naxos, 2012)
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Tr. 17, Stella maris illustrns omnia; Tr. 22, Musicorum collegio/In templo dei/tenor; Tr. 14, Jesu fili verginis
Gothic Voices — Masters of the Rolls (Hyperion, 2012)
Buy from Amazon »
album cover
Tr. 3, Te laudant angeli; Tr. 8, Worldes blis; Tr. 6, Eclipsim patitur
Ensemble Providencia — Crossing The Channel (Tacet/Naxos, 2012)
Buy from Amazon »
album cover
Janelle Davis

Janelle Davis is a violinist and performer with period instrument ensembles throughout the United States. She is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Music degree from Indiana University, Bloomington where she specializes in early music.

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