December 24th, 2012

tree_face

Machaut Mash-up

Did I ever mention that Machaut was one of my favourite composers? Well, he is - and hearing the Festival of Nine Lessons on the radio this afternoon got me to thinking how I'd really rather be enjoying the Messe de Nostre Dame, which led in turn to my happening on this remarkable performance:




I've heard several versions of the Messe, but never with this wobbly note thing going on (forgive me if I'm getting too technical), so reminisicent of Arab and Middle-Eastern music. Maybe this is the way everyone does the Messe these days, in the light of historical research? I must remember to ask my brother when I see him in a couple of days. Anyway, once I got over the cognitive dissonance I liked it a lot.

As long as I'm with Monsieur Machaut, let me give you my very favourite piece of his - a simultaneous setting of three of his own love poems, for of course Machaut was an important, Chaucer-influencing poet as well as a composer. This one would definitely be one of my Desert Island Downloads. Think of it as Morrissey for the 1320s.