CESENA Songs for popes, princes and mercenaries (c.1400)
Graindelavoix Björn Schmelzer
Ars subtilior music from Cesena, a production by Rosas & GraindelavoixPremiered at the Festival d’Avignon in July 2011A concept by Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker and Björn SchmelzerScenography by Ann Veronica Janssens
Olalla Alemán, Eurudike De Beul, superius Yves Van Handenhove, Albert Riera, Marius Peterson, Lieven Gouwy, tenor Tomàs Maxé, Antoni Fajardo, Thomas Vanlede, bassus
with: Haider Al Timimi, Matej Kejzar, Julien Monty
Total playing time: 71:48 Recorded in the Église de Franc-Waret, Belgium, in August 2011 Engineered and produced by Manuel Mohino Executive producer: Carlos Céster Design: Valentín Iglesias
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CESENASongs for popes, princes and mercenaries (c.1400)
01 Pictagore per dogmata / O terra sancta / Rosa vernans caritatis Anonymous (Codex Chantilly Ms 564)
02 Espoir dont tu m’a fayt partir Philipoctus de Caserta (Codex Chantilly Ms 564)
03 Corps femenin Solage (Codex Chantilly Ms 564)
04 Fumeux fume par fumée Solage (Codex Chantilly Ms 564)
05 Par les bons Gedeon et Sanson Philipoctus de Caserta (Codex Chantilly Ms 564)
06 Inter densas / Imbribuis irriguis Anonymous (Codex Chantilly Ms 564)
07 Science n’a nul annemi Matheus de Sancto Johanne (Codex Chantilly Ms 564)
08 En attendant d’amer Johannes Galiot (Codex Chantilly Ms 564)
09 Le ray au soleyl Johannes Ciconia (Codex Mancini, Lucca Ms 184)
10 Fuions de ci Jacob Senleches (Codex Chantilly Ms 564)
11 Cujes li me Majko anonymous, traditional
12 Hodie puer nascitur / Homo mortalis firmiter Jean Hanelle (Codex Torino J.II.9)
13 Adieu vous di Anonymous (Codex Chantilly Ms 564)
About this CD
Björn Schmelzer and Graindelavoix have recently embarked on a startling and radical new stage in their career which involves a collaboration with Rosas, the ensemble of choreographer Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker, and which unites the music of the late 14th century Ars subtilior and contemporary dance. In July the world première of the production Cesena took place at Avignon in the medieval Cour d’honneur of the Palais des Papes (the performance commencing at 4.30am!), and Graindelavoix has recorded since then a “soundtrack” album for release on Glossa. The two ensembles are now performing across Europe and beyond in a tour which is scheduled to continue until 2014. The contents of the album mirror the production onstage, and draw on the almost abstract structures, with their complex and fascinating contrapuntal relations, of this early polyphony, much of it deriving from the Codex Chantilly. Through the performances with Rosas, Schmelzer is hoping to gain new insights into performing this repertoire.
As to the meaning of the album’s title, Schmelzer says that Cesena is only a good one if it functions in all different directions at once; whether it refers to an Italian city whose population was slaughtered in the late 14th century (a “Passendale” of its age), at the time of the Western Schism in the Catholic Church as both Rome and Avignon struggled for control, or to a very important Franciscan, Michael of Cesena who fought for a church in poverty against all the decadence of power or, indeed, to other ideas...
In what is set to be a career-defining opportunity for Graindelavoix, Glossa’s Antwerp-based ensemble, along with its director Björn Schmelzer, is joining forces with choreographer Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker and her company Rosas for a new music and dance production Cesena which will have its world première performance at this year’s Festival d’Avignon in France. On July 16 the medieval Cour d’honneur of the Palais des Papes – the meeting point of the Old and New Papal Palaces – will provide the setting at the time of 4.30am for an interpretation in sound and movement of the rhythmically and harmonically complex 14th century musical repertory known as the Ars subtilior (strongly associated with the Papal Court in Avignon). [read more...]
For the ensemble Graindelavoix’s fifth recording for Glossa, Cecus, Björn Schmelzer has gathered together musicians from Spain, Estonia, the UK, France and Belgium to complete a triptych of recordings presenting an alternative view of performance practice from across a century of Franco-Flemish polyphony. After Joye and La Magdalene, Cecus focuses on music by Alexander Agricola and his contemporaries and concerns itself with music associated with blind players (notably two fiddlers from Bruges) and memory and commemoration (laments on the deaths of Agricola and Johannes Ockeghem) coming from the chapel of Philippe le Beau and Juana of Castile. [read more...]
With only their third CD Björn Schmelzer and Graindelavoix have just secured two of the awards at this year’s Klara-Muziekprijzen ceremony, held at the start of November in the group’s native Belgium.
Poissance d’amours – released by Glossa – was selected by the awards jury of the classical music radio station Klara for the best Flemish production of the year and also by the station’s listeners for the Public prize for 2008.[read more...]
“Making these old, broken stones sing is a wonderful experience”
Following Caput and Joye you are now turning to another area of the medieval musical world. What has inspired you to consider 13th-century Brabant?
After trying to show two important 15th-century composers in a different musical light, I thought it would be interesting to do a programme which is more geographical yet at the same time more “virtual”: one based only on musical remnants, traces and ruins. In this way we might try and create the sound world of an entire region: rather than producing portraits one would be able to paint full landscapes of scenes hitherto lost and in need of being invented anew. [read more...]