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Seized By Sweet Desire / Musica Ficta

Album Summary

>Pérotin : Alleluia, 5. / Posui adiutorium. Organum triplum
>Pérotin : Viderunt omnes
>Anonymous, Trouveres : Work(s)
>Anonymous, French : Soufres, maris, et si ne vous anuit, rondeau for voices
>Pérotin : Sederunt principes
>Pérotin : Mors, clausula for 4 voices
>Leonin : Non vos relinquam, Homo quo vigeas
Performers Conductor Ensemble
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Composers
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Notes & Reviews:

Until recently the role of women as composers and performers of both sacred and secular music during the Middle Ages has been seriously underestimated. This disc, sung by the all-female group Musica Ficta, reveals how well suited to women's voices are music from Notre-Dame in Paris and the songs of many trouveres (the northern counterparts of the troubadours of Languedoc). The latter songs, for instance, often feature female protagonists and present different perspectives on love and life to those by their male counterparts.



Reviews

Seized by Sweet Desire
This delightful CD gives us a glimpse into what a ground-breaking invention the introduction of three- and four-part notated music (polyphony) was versus single-line notated music. Credit for this invention is given jointly, around the year 1200, to Perotin (a.k.a. Perotinus Magnus or Magister Perotinus) and Leonin (a.k.a. Leoninus, Leonius, or Leo). Tracks 1 and 2 offer examples by Perotin of triple and quadruple organum, respectively; organum may be defined as any of several types of medieval vocal polyphony, usually based on Gregorian chant. The contrast with "traditional" monophonic Gregorian plainchant, with respect to both polyphony and the rhythmical changes incorporated, is astounding. Tracks 10 and 12 similarly offer compositions of Leonin. For many years, it was assumed that, apart from a few noted pioneers such as Abbess Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179), Francesca Caccini (1587-c1645), and Elisabeth Jacquet de La Guerre (1665-1729), there were very few documented women composers before 1700; indeed, Vitezslava Kapralova's database lists only around 25. Since it was considered "improper" for women to compose, most women composers' works were either unidentified or passed off as the work of a man. Apart from the assumption that nuns sang in private, little was known about women singers. Tracks 3-9 offer songs by women troubadours, who were much more active as composers and singers than many male musicologists would have had us believe. All the excerpts on this CD are sung by women, and most were probably written for women to sing. Musica Ficta, a Copenhagen-based group that specializes in early vocal music, polyphony, madrigals, and medieval music, performs splendidly under Bo Holten's directorship. Highly recommended! Ted Wilks
Submitted on 11/09/09 by Ted Wilks 
Early Music: it's not just for men!
It is a truth universally acknowledged--but ready for a second look--that music in the Middle Ages was written and performed exclusively by males. Musica Ficta's director Bo Holten makes the point that nuns in their cloisters must surely have offered music at Mass (Hildegard vonBingen, anyone?), and that some of the "trouvere" songs come from a very female perspective. Holten leads his all-female ensemble in deft execution of the intricate Notre Dame motets and in merry singing of infidelity and the pleasures of the flesh. (You will notice how similar in sound secular and sacred music were in the Middle Ages.) If you're a fan of Anonymous 4, much of this is not news to you. If you'd like to explore this musical by-way for the first time, here's a modestly-priced guide (texts and translations included).
Submitted on 05/13/10 by Jim D. 
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Works Details

>Pérotin (Composer) (circa 1160 - circa 1230) : Alleluia, 5. / Posui adiutorium. Organum triplum :: Alleluia, 5. / Posui adiutorium. Organum triplum
  • Conductor: Bo Holten
  • Notes: St. Paul's Church, Copenhagen, Denmark (03/01/2005-03/03/2005)
  • Running Time: 5 min. 47 sec.
  • Period Time: Medieval
  • Form: Choral
  • Written: circa 1200

>Pérotin (Composer) (circa 1160 - circa 1230) : Viderunt omnes
  • Conductor: Bo Holten
  • Notes: St. Paul's Church, Copenhagen, Denmark (03/01/2005-03/03/2005)
  • Running Time: 11 min. 6 sec.
  • Period Time: Medieval
  • Written: 1198

>Anonymous, Trouvères : Work(s) :: A vos vieg, chevalier sire / Et florebit, motet
  • Performer: Ann-Christine Ingels (Soprano)
  • Conductor: Bo Holten
  • Notes: St. Paul's Church, Copenhagen, Denmark (03/01/2005-03/03/2005)
  • Running Time: 1 min. sec.

>Anonymous, Trouvères : Work(s) :: Je sui jonete / Hé Diex! je n'ai pas mari / Veritatum, motet
  • Performer: Susannah Carlsson (Soprano)
  • Conductor: Bo Holten
  • Notes: St. Paul's Church, Copenhagen, Denmark (03/01/2005-03/03/2005)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 9 sec.

>Anonymous, French : Soufres, maris, et si ne vous anuit, rondeau for voices
  • Conductor: Bo Holten
  • Notes: St. Paul's Church, Copenhagen, Denmark (03/01/2005-03/03/2005)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 25 sec.

>Anonymous, Trouvères : Work(s) :: S'on me regarde / Prenés I garde / Hé! Mi enfant, motet
  • Performers: Susannah Carlsson (Soprano); Amy Vestbo (Soprano)
  • Conductor: Bo Holten
  • Notes: St. Paul's Church, Copenhagen, Denmark (03/01/2005-03/03/2005)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 13 sec.

>Anonymous, Trouvères : Work(s) :: Cil bruns ne me meine mie / In seculum, motet
  • Conductor: Bo Holten
  • Notes: St. Paul's Church, Copenhagen, Denmark (03/01/2005-03/03/2005)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 9 sec.

>Anonymous, Trouvères : Work(s) :: Nus ne mi pourroit / Nonne sui, nonne, laissier / Aptatur, motet
  • Performers: Ann-Christine Ingels (Soprano); Malene Nordtorp (Soprano)
  • Conductor: Bo Holten
  • Notes: St. Paul's Church, Copenhagen, Denmark (03/01/2005-03/03/2005)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 21 sec.

>Anonymous, Trouvères : Work(s) :: Jolïement en douce / Quant voi la florete / Je sui jolïete / Aptatur, motet
  • Performers: Susannah Carlsson (Soprano); Ann-Christine Ingels (Soprano); Malene Nordtorp (Soprano)
  • Conductor: Bo Holten
  • Notes: St. Paul's Church, Copenhagen, Denmark (03/01/2005-03/03/2005)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 55 sec.

>Pérotin (Composer) (circa 1160 - circa 1230) : Sederunt principes
  • Conductor: Bo Holten
  • Notes: St. Paul's Church, Copenhagen, Denmark (03/01/2005-03/03/2005)
  • Running Time: 10 min. 30 sec.
  • Period Time: Medieval
  • Written: 1199

>Pérotin (Composer) (circa 1160 - circa 1230) : Mors, clausula for 4 voices
  • Conductor: Bo Holten
  • Notes: St. Paul's Church, Copenhagen, Denmark (03/01/2005-03/03/2005)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 58 sec.
  • Period Time: Medieval
  • Written: circa 1200

>Léonin (circa 1130 - 1201) : Non vos relinquam, Homo quo vigeas
  • Conductor: Bo Holten
  • Notes: St. Paul's Church, Copenhagen, Denmark (03/01/2005-03/03/2005)
  • Running Time: 7 min. 58 sec.
  • Period Time: Medieval