Parodies spirituelles & spiritualité en parodies

Parodies spirituelles & spiritualité en parodies

by Jean-Luc Impe


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Parodies spirituelles & spiritualité en parodies

The concept of this release, a brainchild of French researcher, conductor, and archlute player Jean-Luc Impe, is a bit outrageous but also undoubtedly inventive, providing an instant corrective for anyone who thought odd mixtures of sacred and secular died with the Renaissance. The album's title, Parodies spirituelles et spiritualité en parodies (Spiritual Parodies and Spirituality in Parodies), suggests repertoires that are mirror images of each other. That's not quite the case, but they are oddly related. The "parodies spirituelles" are reworkings of early 17th century songs, refitted with sacred lyrics, rhythmically altered to a greater or lesser degree, and slowed down in keeping with the religious atmosphere. These have some of the naïve quality of Charpentier's sacred melodies of a half-century later, minus the court splendor. The "parodies" in which Impe finds spirituality might better be described as satires, and they're not spiritual in the conventional sense; in fact, they're pretty raunchy. Though Impe claims that these vaudevilles, as they were called "more irreverent in nature then genuinely polemical or anticlerical," some of them are pretty shocking now and must have been even more so at the time. Typical is the concluding "La Soeur Luce," which ostensibly depicted a nun chasing a bug in her bedroom, but in fact seems, as Impe contends, to refer to masturbation. Some of these pieces are anonymous, which may well have been due to their controversial nature. The texts are given only in French, which is a shame for non-Francophones inasmuch as the imagery is allusive, humorous, and presumably filled with contemporary references. The average listener with rusty French will get only partway through. Still, this music, like much of the French repertoire of the period, has been absolutely unknown, and its unearthing in any form is something to be grateful for.

Product Details

Release Date: 04/27/2010
Label: Musica Ficta
UPC: 5410939801022
catalogNumber: 8010


  1. La Soeur Luce
  2. Les Pèlerins de Saint-Jacques
  3. Quelle est cette beauté, song for voice & lute (or ensemble)
  4. Jean des sots
  5. Messieurs, ayez mémoire
  6. Oh! que j'ai de contentement, song for voice & lute (or ensemble)
  7. François, mon séraphique père, song for voice & lute (or ensemble)
  8. Une jeune nonnette
  9. Les Genoux et l'esprit
  10. Au jardin de mon père, un nid d'oiseau y a
  11. Baisant, un soir, une mignarde
  12. Belle Philis, en attendant vos noces
  13. Surprise, ô Dieu, de vos lumières, song for voice & lute (or ensemble)

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