The Unknown Lover: Songs by Solage and Machaut

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Manheim
Gothic Voices is a durable British ensemble that has performed medieval secular music mostly in vocal a cappella style. You may or may not like that approach, but if you'd like to give it a try, this disc contains repertory in which unaccompanied singing works well. The group sings some of the fixed-form chansons of Machaut -- and not the usual ones -- but then seizes on the inherent complexity of Machaut's music and looks forward in time to one of his successors, the mysterious Solage. Nothing, not even a first name, is known of this composer, but he was active at the end of the fourteenth century, and his music, lumped at the time under the label of ars subtilior or ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Manheim
Gothic Voices is a durable British ensemble that has performed medieval secular music mostly in vocal a cappella style. You may or may not like that approach, but if you'd like to give it a try, this disc contains repertory in which unaccompanied singing works well. The group sings some of the fixed-form chansons of Machaut -- and not the usual ones -- but then seizes on the inherent complexity of Machaut's music and looks forward in time to one of his successors, the mysterious Solage. Nothing, not even a first name, is known of this composer, but he was active at the end of the fourteenth century, and his music, lumped at the time under the label of ars subtilior or "subtle art,"seems to have been intellectual and at times freakish. Many discs contain one or two of his pieces, but this one offers a more generous sampling of this music. For a taste of what you're getting into, sample his best-known piece, "Fumeux fume par fumee" track 6, whose opening lines are here translated as "Out of dreams the dreamer dreams up dreamy speculation." Elsewhere the pieces have been thought to refer to smoke, or perhaps even to drug use -- a logical supposition in view of the thoroughly cosmic text. This was apparently music made for small groups of aficionados, and the rather claustrophobic atmosphere induced by the small groups of voices singing medieval intervals actually helps put across the weirdly arcane mood of Solage's music. Other songs involve acrostics in their texts, comment on political affairs "S'aincy estoit," track 10, or even argue in favor of jackets as opposed to robes or cloaks "Pluseurs gens," track 11. The Gothic Voices achieve variety by assigning pieces to high or low ranges and deploying shifting groups of singers. This album is worth anyone's time for the ride through Solage's music, and it's a must for those already enamored of the Gothic Voices style.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 12/5/2006
  • Label: Avie
  • UPC: 822252208924
  • Catalog Number: 2089
  • Sales rank: 121,331

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Le Basile - Solage & Gothic Voices (4:13)
  2. 2 Mors sui se je ne vous voy, virelai for 2 voices - Guillaume de Machaut & Steven Harrold (4:02)
  3. 3 En l'amoureux vergier - Solage & Steven Harrold (4:57)
  4. 4 Quant je sui mis su retour, virelai for voice - Guillaume de Machaut & Stephen Charlesworth (1:43)
  5. 5 Tres gentil cuer for 3 voices - Solage & Catherine King (6:50)
  6. 6 Fumeux fume par fumée, rondeau for 3 voices - Solage & Jonathan Arnold (4:26)
  7. 7 Joieux de cuer en seumellant estoye, for 4 voices - Solage & Gothic Voices (4:00)
  8. 8 Dame, se vous m'estés lointeinne, ballade for voice - Guillaume de Machaut & Catherine King (2:29)
  9. 9 Adieu vous di, tres doulce compaygnie, ballade - Stephen Charlesworth & Anonymous, Codex Chantilly (2:51)
  10. 10 Plus dure qu'un dyamant, virelai for 2 voices - Guillaume de Machaut & Steven Harrold (3:28)
  11. 11 Corps feminin - Solage & Steven Harrold (3:59)
  12. 12 S'aincy estoit que ne feust la noblesce - Solage & Stephen Charlesworth (3:14)
  13. 13 Plusiers gens voy for 4 voices - Solage & Gothic Voices (2:43)
  14. 14 Douce dame, tant com vivray, rondeau for 2 voices - Guillaume de Machaut & Steven Harrold (3:12)
  15. 15 Le Mont Aon de Thrace, ballade - Stephen Charlesworth & Anonymous, Codex Chantilly (3:19)
  16. 16 Se je souspir parfondement, virelai for 2 voices - Guillaume de Machaut & Catherine King (2:38)
  17. 17 Calextone, qui fut dame - Solage & Stephen Charlesworth (3:06)
  18. 18 Dieus, Biaute, Douceur, virelai for voice - Guillaume de Machaut & Steven Harrold (4:30)
  19. 19 Hélas, je voy mon cuer, for 4 voices - Solage & Gothic Voices (5:30)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Gothic Voices Primary Artist
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