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Earthly Gardens

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Welcome to Harmonia…I’m Angela Mariani.

Gardens surprise and enchant us. Their fragrant smells can arise in one place from sweet violets, and in another from perfectly trimmed hedges. This hour, we’ll take a stroll along the grand canal of the gardens at Versailles. These enormous royal gardens were built in the mid-sixteenth century, and having survived a few bumps along the way, are still breath-taking . . . then, music from the late fifteenth century, from a manuscript shaped like a heart,  from our featured release Straight from the Heart: the Chansonnier Cordiforme, by Ensemble Leones. Stay with us!

MUSIC TRACK

Straight from the Heart: the Chansonnier Cordiforme
Ensemble Leones / dir. Lewon
Naxos 8.573325 2016, asin: B01LWYN7A5
Anon.
Tr. 7: Adieu vous dy l’espoir de ma jonesse / I bid you farewell, the hope of my youth [Chansonnier Cordiforme, Geneve, c. 1475, CORD 37] (4:31)

“Adieu vous,” “I bid you farewell, the hope of my youth” -- music from the late-fifteenth-century Chansonnier Cordiforme. Ensemble Leones performed on the Naxos 2016 release Straight from the Heart: the Chansonnier Cordiforme.

The gardens at Versailles are so extensive that you can walk for over an hour and have your only company be perfectly trimmed hedges, marble statues, and magnificent fountains. If you take a row boat to the far end of the grand canal, you can hardly see the chateau in the distance. Today, the gardens include 200,000 trees and more than that many flowers, planted every year. Initially constructed in the 1630s, the extensive gardens that create the massive “back yard” of the palace at Versailles reflect both the original monarchs’ absolute control, and also their desire for a place to escape from palace responsibilities.

Imagine if you could step into this wonderland and hear some of the music that may have wafted through the air during the beginning of its long history. Here is a sampling of music by Versailles court composers Marin Marais, Michel L’Affilard, and Michel-Richard de Lalande.

MUSIC TRACK

Les Escapades du Roi: Plaisirs & intrigues a la cour de Versailles
Les Escapades
Christophorus CHR77338 2011 / B004P9D1OY
14 Marin Marais / 15 Michel L’Affilard / 16 Michel-Richard de Lalande
Tr. 14 The Gardens of Versailles: Pieces de viole, Book 3: Suite in G Minor: III. Le Moulinet (2:42)
Tr. 15 The Gardens of Versailles: Principes: Viens avec moi (1:05)
Tr. 16 The Gardens of Versailles: Les fontaines de Versailles: Chaconne (2:35)

The Chaconne from “Le fontaines de Versailles” by Michel-Richard de Lalande. Before that, we heard “Le Moulinet” from Marin Marias’ third book of viol music and a song by Michel L’Affilard: “Viens avec moi,” performed by Les Escapades, from their 2011 release Les Escapades du Roi.

While working at the court of Louis XIV, Lutenist Robert de Visée was known to play plucked string instruments at the bedside of the dauphin , later Louis XV. Rather than popping in earbuds and listening to the latest tracks on the internet, we can imagine Louis XV strolling along the grand canal at Versailles followed by Robert de Visée, playing his lute and singing a newly composed song for the dauphin. Here’s a prelude by de Visée, followed by his version of Lully’s overture La Grotte de Versailles.

MUSIC TRACK

L'Art du théorbiste Music for Theorbo
Simon Linné
Brilliant Classics BC95426 2017 / B01N465U76
Robert de Visée
Tr. 24 Prelude (1:34)
Tr. 25 Overture de la grotte de Versailles – de Lully (3:35)
Tr. 26 Air du grand ballet du Roy (1:31)
Tr. 27 Air (1:01)
Tr. 28 Dieux d’amour (1:12)

“Prelude,” “Overture de la grotte de Versailles,” “Air du grand ballet du Roy,” “Air,” and “Dieux d’amour” performed by Simon Linné on theorbo. That was from Brilliant Classics 2017 release L’Art du théorbiste: Music for Theorbo.

Not all gardens have flowers. Johann Friedrich Meister’s “Il Giardino del Piacere” (the garden of pleasure) is comprised of twelve suites, forming a perfect bouquet of music for strings and harpsichord. We’ll hear Ensemble Diderot perform four movements from Suite no. 8 in B-flat Major from “Il Giardino del Piacere.”

MUSIC TRACK

Ensemble Diderot / Johann Pramsohler
Audax ADX13705D 2016 / B01EDA9FSK
Johann Friedrich Meister
Tr. 17 Sonata No. 8 in B-Flat Major: I. Adagio (1:26)
Tr. 18 Sonata No. 8 in B-Flat Major: II. Fuga: Allegro (:55)
Tr. 20 Sonata No. 8 in B-Flat Major: IV. Menuet: Allegro e presto (:45)
Tr. 22 Sonata No. 8 in B-Flat Major: VI. Gigue: Allegro (2:13)

Johann Friedrich Meister’s Sonata No. 8 in B-Flat. Ensemble Diderot performed on the 2016 Audax release, Meister:  Il Giardino del Piacere.

Our playlists, podcasts, and archived episodes are online at harmonia early music dot org.

You can follow our Facebook page and our updates on Twitter by searching for Harmonia Early Music.

Theme Music Bed: Ensemble Alcatraz, Danse Royale, Elektra Nonesuch 79240-2 [ASIN: B000005J0B], T.12: La Prime Estampie Royal

Harmonia is a program of early music that comes to you from the studios of WFIU at Indiana University. Partial support for Harmonia comes from PENN-CO incorporated of Bedford, Indiana. Partial support also comes from Early Music America, fostering the performance, scholarship, and community of early music…on the web at EarlyMusicAmerica-DOT-org.  I’m Angela Mariani.

:59 Midpoint Break Music Bed: L'Art du théorbiste Music for Theorbo, Simon Linné, Brilliant 2017, Tr. 9 Courante (excerpt of 1:26)

Welcome back. This hour, we’ve been listening to music about gardens, and in particular the gardens at Versailles in France, built originally in the mid-17th century. Here is music from the same era, by Marin Marais: Muzette, from the Suite in G Major from Book 4 of his Pieces for Viol.

MUSIC TRACK

Les Escapades du Roi: Plaisirs & intrigues a la cour de Versailles
Les Escapades
Christophorus CHR77338 2011 / B004P9D1OY
T.2: Marin Marais: Pieces de viole, Book 4: IX, Muzette (2:35)

Muzette, by Marin Marais, from the Suite in G major, Book 4 of Marais’ Pieces for Viol.

Before we leave the gardens to explore the fifteenth-century songbook Chansonnier Cordiforme, we’ll pause to enjoy one last secret corner. Here is the Sinfonia from Domenico Scarlatti’s “Il giardino di rose,” The Rose Garden. 

MUSIC TRACK

Il Giardino Di Rose
Accademia Bizantina / cond. Ottavio Dantone
Decca 00028947825227 2014 / B000V6U6X4
Domenico Scarlatti
Tr. 16 Il giardino di rose: Sinfonia (critical edition by A. Borin) (4:44)

The Sinfonia to “Il giardino di rose,” by Domenico Scarlatti. Ottavio Dantone led the Accademia Bizantina.

Our featured release, Straight from the Heart: the Chansonnier Cordiforme, takes as its subject a famous heart-shaped Renaissance music book. Complied around 1475, the Chansonnier Cordiforme was written for Genevan priest Jean de Montchenu. The beauty of the book—its illustrations, popular songs, and expensive paper—contrast in a big way with its dedicatee. In the CD’s liner notes, David Fallows tells us that Montchenu, who was eventually excommunicated, was described by a contemporary as, quote, “an especially treacherous individual, shameful of conduct, unchaste, detestable, dissolute and full of all the vices.” [end quote].  We’ll hear a song by an unknown composer from the heart of the heart-shaped manuscript: “My dear pearl, o sweet love.”

MUSIC TRACK

The fifteenth-century song “My dear pearl, o sweet love,” from the Chansonnier Cordiform. Singer Els Janssens-Vanmunster performed with Baptiste Romain on lyra de braccio and director Marc Lewon on lute.

Another song from this chansonnier is “Ben lo sa Dio se sum vergine e pura.” Ensemble Leones director Marc Lewon explains that the ensemble chose to strip the piece down to its bare melody and then construct their own accompaniment on lira da braccio, in the tradition of fifteenth-century Italian monody—or single line song. In the version we’re about to hear, the piece alternates between group and individual parts. In the chorus, three singers are accompanied by lira da braccio, whereas only one voice sings during the verses. We could also imagine a singer accompanying him or herself on lira da braccio, who would then be joined by a small group of singers, making this performance both gently intimate and warmly communal.

Here is “Ben lo sa Dio se sum vergine e pura” performed by Ensemble Leones.

MUSIC TRACK

Straight from the Heart: the Chansonnier Cordiforme
Ensemble Leones / dir. Lewon
Naxos 8.573325 2016, asin: B01LWYN7A5
Anon.
Tr. 9: Ben lo sa Dio se sum vergine e pura [Chansonnier Cordiforme, Geneva, c. 1475] (5:30)

Ensemble Leones performed the late fifteenth-century work “Ben lo sa Dio se sum vergine e pura,” from the heart-shaped manuscript known as the Chansonnier Cordiforme

Many of the composers of the songs in Chansonnier Cordiforme are identified, which is not always the case in these early manuscripts. This one is by Johannes Tinctoris, entitled “Le souvenir.”

MUSIC TRACK

Straight from the Heart: the Chansonnier Cordiforme
Ensemble Leones / dir. Marc Lewon
Naxos 8.573325 2016, asin: B01LWYN7A5
Johannes Tinctoris
Tr. 8 Le souvenir [Segovia Codex, Toledo, c. 1501-1503] (1:07)

“Le souvenir” (The memory), by Johannes Tinctoris. from the 2016 album, Straight from the Heart: the Chansonnier Cordiforme, by Ensemble Leones.

 

More music, stories, history, recordings, and other information about the world of early music can be found on our Harmonia Early Music Podcasts, online at harmonia early music dot org and through iTunes. You’re listening to Harmonia.

 

[Fade in theme]

Harmonia is a production of WFIU, and part of the educational mission of Indiana University. Additional resources come from the William and Gayle Cook Music Library at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music.We welcome your thoughts about any part of this program, or about early music in general. You can leave a comment or question any time by visiting harmonia early music dot org and clicking on "Contact."

The writer for this edition of Harmonia was Sarah Schilling.

Thanks to our studio engineer Michael Paskash and our staff – Wendy Gillespie and LuAnn Johnson. Additional technical support comes from KTTZ at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas.

Our producer is Elizabeth Clark, our executive producer is John Bailey, and I’m Angela Mariani, inviting you to join us again for the next edition of Harmonia.

Gardens at Versailles.

Gardens at Versailles. (Tina Bettina, Pixabay)

Gardens surprise and enchant us. Their fragrant smells can arise in one place from sweet violets, and in another from perfectly trimmed hedges. This hour, we’ll take a stroll along the grand canal of the gardens at Versailles. These enormous royal gardens were built in the mid-sixteenth century, and having survived a few bumps along the way, are still breath-taking . . . then, music from the late fifteenth century, from a manuscript shaped like a heart,  from our featured release Straight from the Heart: the Chansonnier Cordiforme, by Ensemble Leones.
PLAYLIST
 
News Hole:
Straight from the Heart: the Chansonnier Cordiforme
Ensemble Leones / dir. Lewon
Naxos 8.573325 2016, asin: B01LWYN7A5
Anon.
Tr. 7: Adieu vous dy l’espoir de ma jonesse / I bid you farewell, the hope of my youth [Chansonnier Cordiforme, Geneve, c. 1475, CORD 37] (4:31)
 
Segment A:
Les Escapades du Roi: Plaisirs & intrigues a la cour de Versailles
Les Escapades
Christophorus CHR77338 2011 / B004P9D1OY
14 Marin Marais / 15 Michel L’Affilard / 16 Michel-Richard de Lalande
Tr. 14 The Gardens of Versailles: Pieces de viole, Book 3: Suite in G Minor: III. Le Moulinet (2:42)
Tr. 15 The Gardens of Versailles: Principes: Viens avec moi (1:05)
Tr. 16 The Gardens of Versailles: Les fontaines de Versailles: Chaconne (2:35)
 
L'Art du théorbiste Music for Theorbo
Simon Linné
Brilliant Classics BC95426 2017 / B01N465U76
Robert de Visée
Tr. 24 Prelude (1:34)
Tr. 25 Overture de la grotte de Versailles – de Lully (3:35)
Tr. 26 Air du grand ballet du Roy (1:31)
Tr. 27 Air (1:01)
Tr. 28 Dieux d’amour (1:12)
 
Meister: Il Giardino del Piacere
Ensemble Diderot / Johann Pramsohler
Audax ADX13705D 2016 / B01EDA9FSK
Johann Friedrich Meister
Tr. 17 Sonata No. 8 in B-Flat Major: I. Adagio (1:26)
Tr. 18 Sonata No. 8 in B-Flat Major: II. Fuga: Allegro (:55)
Tr. 20 Sonata No. 8 in B-Flat Major: IV. Menuet: Allegro e presto (:45)
Tr. 22 Sonata No. 8 in B-Flat Major: VI. Gigue: Allegro (2:13)
 
Theme Music Bed: Ensemble Alcatraz, Danse Royale, Elektra Nonesuch 79240-2 [ASIN: B000005J0B], T.12: La Prime Estampie Royal
 
:59 Midpoint Break Music Bed: L'Art du théorbiste Music for Theorbo, Simon Linné, Brilliant 2017, Tr. 9 Courante (excerpt of 1:26)
 
Segment B:
Les Escapades du Roi: Plaisirs & intrigues a la cour de Versailles
Les Escapades
Christophorus CHR77338 2011 / B004P9D1OY
T.2:  Marin Marais: Pieces de viole, Book 4: IX, Muzette  (2:35)
 
Il Giardino Di Rose
Accademia Bizantina / cond. Ottavio Dantone
Decca 00028947825227 2014 / B000V6U6X4
Domenico Scarlatti
Tr. 16 Il giardino di rose: Sinfonia (critical edition by A. Borin) (4:44)
 
Straight from the Heart: the Chansonnier Cordiforme
Ensemble Leones / dir. Lewon
Naxos 8.573325 2016, asin: B01LWYN7A5
Anon.
Tr. 19: Perla mya cara, o dolce amore (My dear pearl, o sweet love) (7:44)
 
Straight from the Heart: the Chansonnier Cordiforme
Ensemble Leones / dir. Lewon
Naxos 8.573325 2016, asin: B01LWYN7A5
Anon.
Tr. 9: Ben lo sa Dio se sum vergine e pura [Chansonnier Cordiforme, Geneva, c. 1475] (5:30)
 
Straight from the Heart: the Chansonnier Cordiforme
Ensemble Leones / dir. Marc Lewon
Naxos 8.573325 2016, asin: B01LWYN7A5
Johannes Tinctoris
Tr. 8 Le souvenir [Segovia Codex, Toledo, c. 1501-1503] (1:07)
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