Leuven Chansonnier, vol. 1 — Sollazzo Ensemble
medieval.org | passacaille.be
Passacaille (Ambronay) 1054
Release: 25th Oct 2019
1. Hélas, l'avoy je desservy [5:24]
2. Ma bouche rit [5:17] Johannes OCKEGHEM
3. S'il advient que mon dueil me tue [4:01] MICHELET
4. Fors seullement [6:57] Johannes OCKEGHEM
5. Je ne vis onques la pareille [1:40] Gilles BINCHOIS
6. Tant est mignonne ma pensee [2:31]
7. J'ai pris amours a ma devise [5:21]
8. D'un aultre amer [1:18] Johannes OCKEGHEM
9. Escu d'ennuy seme de plours [5:01]
10. Henri Phlippet le vert me fais porter [2:46]
11. J'ay des semblans tant que je vueil [5:55]
12. Je ne fays plus [5:36] Gilles MUREAU
13. Ravy damours [7:00]
14. Tousdis vous voit mon souvenir [2:42]
12 November 2019
Todd M. McComb
I'm expecting a handful of new items of interest to arrive within the next month or so, and hopefully there'll be both some newly discovered or imagined music & some new ideas to articulate here.
In the meantime, I do want to note the recent Leuven Chansonnier release: This manuscript, containing 50 songs, including well-known examples by famous composers such as Ockeghem, but also 12 unica not found elsewhere, was only discovered in 2015. Its previously unknown items are, of course, the most intriguing — & may eventually be attributed — but overall, the manuscript contains polyphonic secular music typical of its era.
The album is also subtitled "Volume 1" although it doesn't mention future issues specifically (& these might be performed by different ensembles, as concerts debuting the material from the manuscript apparently had been). The (initial?) release of 14 items is by Ensemble Sollazzo, then, whom I see I hadn't really featured here: Their previous albums consisted of a selection of Ars Nova repertory, and were enjoyable enough while being unremarkable for their programs (& seemed to be discussed sufficiently elsewhere, where the interpretations did generate some enthusiasm).
Leuven Chansonnier likewise involves a quality performance, although I'd also characterize it as a bit stiff and operatic-modern in its vocals, while (correspondingly) engaging in more doubling than I might prefer. The repertory itself might be said to occupy an intermediate position between more famous sources, e.g. Chansonnier Cordiforme & Grand Chansonnier of Margaret of Austria — less striking, but generally enjoyable.... Ultimately, it's good to see renewed interest in the fifteenth century chanson, with at least one more upcoming release (including a new item from Leuven, as it happens) & corresponding discussion to be devoted to that repertory as well....