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Hyperion Records

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The anatomy of Man and Woman (Tres Riches Heures du Duc de Berry, Ms65/1284 f14v) by Pol de Limbourg (dc1416)
Musée Condé, Chantilly, France / Giraudon / Bridgeman Art Library, London
Track(s) taken from CDA67727
Recording details: July 2012
Parish Church of St John the Baptist, Loughton, Essex, United Kingdom
Produced by Mark Brown
Engineered by David Hinitt
Release date: October 2013
Total duration: 7 minutes 34 seconds

'Le Voit Dit is considered the masterpiece of the 14th-century French poet and composer Guillaume de Machaut. Whether or not it is a 'true' or autobiographically accurate tale, as the title implies, the nine songs embedded in Machaut’s anthology of verse and music speak plaintively and in a personal way of the pains and pleasures of love. Hauntingly and mellifluously sung by the four (but sometimes solo) voices of the Orlando Consort, this music still sounds as flavoursome as it must have done 650 years ago' (The Daily Telegraph)

'Here is a project for which Machaut fans have been waiting for a long time … this is an important and rewarding album that any lover of Medieval music will want to own' (International Record Review)

Ne que on porroit
composer
3vv; Ballade 33
author of text
late 1360s; from Le Voir Dit, VD16

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
Plourés dames and Ne que on porroit may seem to us remarkably similar in many ways but Machaut evidently felt he had created a quite distinctive, novel work with the latter. Ne que on porroit is certainly unusual for its motivic density and its constant repetition and variation, but it may have been the recurrent, striking descending leaps that led the author to remark he had designed it in ‘the German style’ (‘a la guise d’un res d’alemagne’). He concluded it was the best thing he had written for a long while, declaring its lower parts are ‘as sweet as unsalted gruel’. He implored his mistress to learn it exactly as written, with nothing added or taken away, and to perform it with ‘long measure’, meaning, perhaps, with a stately tempo; finally, he advised it could be performed on organ, cornemuse, or other instruments, since this reflects its true nature.

from notes by Yolanda Plumley © 2013

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