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Love's Illusion - Music from the Montpellier Codex (13th-Century)

Love's Illusion - Music from the Montpellier Codex (13th-Century)

3 Nov 2005
4.5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Original Release Date: 3 Nov. 2005
  • Release Date: 3 Nov. 2005
  • Label: harmonia mundi
  • Copyright: harmonia mundi usa
  • Total Length: 1:03:52
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B00B4MNNOS
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 148,268 in Albums (See Top 100 in Albums)

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
This is a wonderful collection of chansons, or songs, from medieval France. It is different from many Anonymous 4 collections in that this is a piece of secular songs, primarily dealing with courtly love; the songs are particularly influenced by the Arthurian romances, very much in vogue at that time. This is a collection of motets - a musical style that came out of polyphony and is an important bridge between chant and modern song styling.
The Montpellier Codex has over 300 different motets (not including duplications), including many double motets, where the tenor piece is based on a plainchant, and different voices have their own texts. These 'fin amours' songs were most likely performed mostly in private entertainment settings, and song have argued that certain parts should be done by instruments rather than voices. Of course, the Anonymous 4 is an a capella group, so that idea does not come into practice here.
This is a playful and fun recording, full of lovely songs that reach the heart in strong ways.
-- Liner Notes --
This text accompaniment to this disc is very full, so much so that the booklet is not contained within the jewel case, but rather within a slipcover in which both the CD/jewel case and the booklet reside. The liner notes include a description of the work, a brief piece about the quartet, and the lyrics of the songs both in original language and in translation - all repeated in English, German, and French sections (however, the French lyrics are in the older French language; a modern translation would be helpful). The cover art is a section of the lovely Tapestry, Lady and the Unicorn, Atelier of the Loire Valley, 'mille fleurs', fifteen century in the Museum of Cluny, France.
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A stunning album, the vocals of the Anonymous 4 are clear and beautiful, and the intricate harmonies and evocative melodies are a joy to hear. The only fault I would find is that on a couple of tracks the sound is slightly clipped due to compression of the recording, a small fault which only slightly detracts from a stunning performance. I would definitely recommend this to any lover of early music.
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Anonymous not because we don't know who they are but because there is so little characterisation. These lyrics are very beautiful but can only be taken in limited doses. I find my concentration drifting after 2 or 3 tracks. Very enjoyable and well presented.
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Anonymous 4 just never let you down! This recording is, as always, brilliant. Some really interesting music, too. Highly recommended!
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