Anonymous 4: Love's Illusion - Music From The Montpellier Codex 13th Century (FLAC)
Anonymous 4: Love's Illusion - Music From The Montpellier Codex 13th Century (FLAC)

Audio CD
SPARS Code: DDD
Number of Discs: 1
Format: FLAC (image+cue)
Label: Harmonia Mundi
Size: 260 MB
Recovery: +3%
Scan: no

01. Plus bele que flor/Quant revient/L’autrier joer/FLOS FILIUS (Mo 21)
02. Puisque bele dame m’eime/FLOS FILIUS (Mo 231)
03. Amours mi font souffrir/En mai/FLOS FILIUS (Mo 111)
04. Ne sai, que je die/IOHANNE (Mo 185)
05. Si je chante/Bien doi amer/ET SPERABIT (Mo 311)
06. Or ne sai je que devenir/Puisque d’amer/KYRIELEYSON (Mo 267)
07. He Dieus, de si haut si bas/Maubatus/CUMQUE (Mo 92)
08. Celui en qui/La bele estoile/La bele, en qui/IOHANNE (Mo 20)
09. Qui d’amours se plaint/LUX MAGNA (Mo 215)
10. Amours, dont je sui/L’autrier, au douz mois/Chose Tassin (Mo 270)
11. Au cuer ai un mal/Ja ne m’en repentirai/Jolietement (Mo 260)
12. Quant voi la fleur/ET TENUERUNT (Mo 241)
13. Quant se depart/Onques ne sai amer/DOCEBIT OMNEM (Mo 131)
14. Joliement/Quant voi la florete/Je sui joliete/APTATUR (Mo 34)
15. Amor potest conqueri/Ad amorem sequitur (Mo 238)
16. Ce que je tieng/Certes mout/Bone compaignie/MANERE (Mo 33)
17. J’ai si bien mon cuer assiz/Aucun m’ont/ANGELUS (Mo 128)
18. Ne m’oubliez mie/DOMINO (Mo 236)
19. J’ai mis toute ma pensee/Je n’en puis/PUERORUM (Mo 255)
20. Blanchete/Quant je pens/VALARE (Mo 168)
21. Dame, qeu je n’os noumer/Amis donc est/Lonc tans a (Mo 337)
22. Li savours de mon desir/Li grant desir/Non veul mari (Mo 323)
23. Entre Copin/Je me cuidoie/Bele Ysabelos (Mo 256)
24. S’on me regarde/Prennes i garde/He, mi enfant (Mo 256)
25. Quant yver la bise ameine/IN SECULUM (Mo 223)
26. Ne m’a pas oublie/IN SECULUM (Mo 207)
27. On doit fin[e] Amor/La biaute/IN SECULUM (Mo 134)
28. Ja n’amerai autre que cele/IN SECULUM (Mo 3)
29. Quant je parti de m’amie/TUO (Mo 200)

Excellent Rendition of Early Music. Buy It.

`Love’s Illusion’ is the third album done by the medieval vocal quartet, `Anonymous 4′ and the first recording for them of secular motets, although it is important to note that to my relatively uneducated ear, I find it hard to discern the difference between these French love songs and their renditions of medieval church music.

This is not to say I have a totally tin ear but rather to indicate that there is as strong or stronger connection between these secular songs and the liturgical music of the day as there is between Aretha Franklin’s soul singing and Southern Baptist church songs. One would be foolish to think that church music influenced secular music for the first time in 1956.

The text for these songs is based on the Montpellier Codex from the 13th century and, as I said, are all in what I believe is an early version of French. The accompanying booklet gives all the French lyrics, plus translations of these lyrics into English and German (since the record company, harmonia mundi, is, I believe, headquartered in Germany and the recording is manufactured in Germany.

While this is the first album I have reviewed by this group (named after an anonymous 13th century English writer on music who lived and worked in Paris and wrote about the music done) I have been listening to their recordings for several years now and I decided to start with this one and leave some of the liturgical works for later, closer to the Christmas season.

On a purely visceral level, I like this recording very much. On an intellectual level, I believe this is as good or better than any other medieval pieces, and most other Renaissance vocal pieces I have heard, except for some works with larger choruses such as Guillaume Du Fay’s Mass for St. Anthony of Padua and Ensemble Gilles Binchois recording of eleventh century French Polyphony.

For those who are new to Anonymous 4 recordings, they are generally done not in a studio but in the nave of a large church, so there is a distinct sense of their singing in a great open space, with little or no sense of electronic enhancement. I really like this effect for this music and find it just one more reason to recommend this and other Anonymous 4 recordings. I think my highest recommendation comes from the fact that I can listen to this recording many times over and not become tired of it. There are other unusual types of music such as Russian chants, tangos, and even jazz which I can take for an hour or so and then must change. This material I can listen to for hours on end.

Highly recommended for fans of early music or for people who want something different.

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