The Orlando Consort’s latest installment in their complete survey of the music of Guillaume de Machaut : The Gentle Physician

Guillaume de Machaut (c1300–1377) is considered now, as he was in his own day, the most significant French poet and composer of the fourteenth century. Sometimes described as ‘the last of the trouvères’ because of his dual talents as wordsmith and musician, Machaut built on past traditions yet spearheaded a new school of lyric composition. … Continue reading The Orlando Consort’s latest installment in their complete survey of the music of Guillaume de Machaut : The Gentle Physician

Johannes Ciconia and Ars Subtilior : Bridging Machaut and Dufay

Johannes Ciconia was a Franco-Flemish composer, mainly active in Italy around 1400.  Born in or around Liège, a Flemish bishopric, he moved to Italy at a young age and remained there for his entire life.  In 1955 Heinrich Besseler suggested that the period between the death of Guillaume de Machaut in 1377 and the beginning … Continue reading Johannes Ciconia and Ars Subtilior : Bridging Machaut and Dufay

The Polyphonic Lais of Guillaume de Machaut : Overview + Recordings

Fourteenth-century France exhibits the effects of an era grappling for an identity through its language, poetry and music. Amidst intellectual rigidity and diurnal despair, this transitional period enfeebled by medieval traditions yet aspired to humanist artistry. Guillaume de Machaut, illustrious poet-composer in the medieval myth, offered a means of embellishing life through a variety of … Continue reading The Polyphonic Lais of Guillaume de Machaut : Overview + Recordings

Taking Liberties : Björn Schmelzer & Machaut’s “Messe de Nostre Dame”

The La Messe de Nostre Dame by Guillaume de Machaut has been called the most important polyphonic composition of the 14th century.  There are at least 35 recordings dating back to 1951, although most of those pre-1980 are hard to find and if found only available on vinyl. There appears to be general agreement now … Continue reading Taking Liberties : Björn Schmelzer & Machaut’s “Messe de Nostre Dame”

Marcel Pérès and Ensemble Organum : Machaut’s Mass

Ensemble Organum is a group performing early music, co-founded in 1982 by Marcel Pérès and is based in France. Its members have changed, but have included at one time or another, Josep Cabré, Josep Benet, Gérard Lesne, Antoine Sicot, Malcolm Bothwell. They have often collaborated with Lycourgos Angelopoulos and are influenced by Orthodox music. The group … Continue reading Marcel Pérès and Ensemble Organum : Machaut’s Mass

Responsio : Peter-Anthony Togni meets Machaut

I posted an overview recently in this blog on Machaut's Messe de Nostre Dame - but this recording/work reflects, comments, refutes, challenges and embellishes the medieval voice of Guillaume de Machaut and his medieval masterpiece. RESPONSIO  by Peter-Anthony Togni A contemporary response to Guillaume de Machaut’s Messe de Nostre Dame Jeff Reilly – bass clarinet Suzie Leblanc … Continue reading Responsio : Peter-Anthony Togni meets Machaut

Guillaume de Machaut : the best-known composer/poet of the 14th century

Guillaume de Machaut (ca. 1300-1377) is the most well-known composer of the 14th century.  I can make this statement with complete confidence of its veracity.  Machaut had a day job, he worked for John of Luxembourg, King of Bohemia, from ‘around twelve years’ before 1330 until at least 1333 (and probably until 1346) (Leach, Elizabeth … Continue reading Guillaume de Machaut : the best-known composer/poet of the 14th century