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Anonymous 4: Love's Illusion

Plus bele que flor/ Quant revient/ L'autrier joer/ FLOS FILIUS (Mo 21)
Puisque bele dame m'eime/ FLOS FILIUS (Mo 231)
Amours mi font souffrir/ En mai/ FLOS FILIUS (Mo 111)
Ne sai, que je die/ IOHANNE (Mo 185)
Se je chante/ Bien doi amer/ ET SPERABIT (Mo 311)
Or ne sai je que devenir/ P uisque d'amer/ KYRIELEYSON (Mo 267)
He Dieus, de si haut si bas/ Maubatus/ CUMQUE (Mo 92)
Celui en qui/ La bele estoile/ La bele, en qui/ IOHANNE (Mo 20)
Qui d'amours se plaint/ LUX MAGNA (Mo 215)
Amours, dont je sui/ L'autrier, au douz mois/ Chose Tassin (Mo 270)
Au cuer ai un mal/ Ja ne m'en repentirai/ Jolietement (Mo 260)
Quant voi la fleur/ ET TENUERUNT (Mo 241)
Quant se depart/ Onques ne sai amer/ DOCEBIT OMNEM (Mo 131)
Joliement/ Quant voi la florete/ Je sui joliete/ APTATUR (Mo 34)
Amor potest conqueri/ Ad amorem sequitur (Mo328)
Ce que je tieng/ Certes mout/ Bone compaignie/ MANERE (Mo 33)
J'ai si bien mon cuer assiz/ Aucun m'ont/ ANGELUS (Mo 128)
Ne m'oubliez mie/ DOMINO (Mo 236)
Blanchete/ Quant je pens/ VALARE (Mo 168)
Dame, que je n'os noumer/ Amis donc est/ Lonc tans a (Mo 337)
Li savours de mon desir/ Li grant desir/ Non veul mari (Mo 323)
Entre Copin/ Je me cuidoie/ Bele Ysabelos (Mo 256)
S'on me regarde/ Prennes i gardee/ He, mi enfant (Mo 256)
Quant yver l a bise ameine/ IN SECULUM (Mo 223)
Ne m'a pas oublie/ IN SECULUM (Mo 207)
On doit fin(e) Amor/ La biaute/ IN SECULUM (Mo 134)
Ja n'amerai autre que cele/IN SECULUM (Mo 3)
Quant je parti de m'amie/ TUO (Mo 200)

One could easily imagine that a programme such as this, of 29 thirteenth-century motets, all composed around the same theme of fin amours and all sung unaccompanied by an all-female vocal ensemble, might end by becoming wearisome on the ear. Anonymous 4 have proved conclusively in this recording that this need not be so, that, in any case, there is already an infinite variety of mood and style among the songs-compare, for example, No. 14 (Joliement/Quant voi la florete/Je sui joliete) with No. 18 (Ne m'oubliez mie)-and that it is possible further to vary them in performance, using no other means than the voices themselves. The directness of the group's approach is always refreshing: their tone is unaffected, their pitch secure. The songs are presented with simplicity in a clear acoustic. There is a total absence of any improvised doodling on reconstructed medieval instruments, which is rather a relief. One gets a sense of quiet satisfaction and enjoyment from the singers themselves. I also get the feeling that the singers are trying to teach us something about the music, the mechanics of the motet and how it works, almost as if they were demonstrating to a class of music students. They sometimes go out of their way to sing a single part and then to repeat it with another part added, and then finally to give us a polished rendering of the whole motet, complete with all its parts. Occasionally they add a drone-once with a doubling at the fifth above.

Item code: 6222C | 1 CD | $9.98 |add item to cart
Early Music  | A Cappella | Female | United States
HMX 2907109

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