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Track(s) taken from CDA67549

Vergene bella

author of text
first stanza of the final poem of Canzoniere

Catherine Bott (soprano), Pavlo Beznosiuk (fiddle), Mark Levy (fiddle)
Recording details: April 2001
Angel Studios, Islington, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Catherine Bott & Stephen Henderson
Engineered by Steve Price & Mat Bartram
Release date: January 2006
Total duration: 4 minutes 10 seconds

Cover artwork: The Meeting on the Turret Stairs by Frederick William Burton (1816-1900)
The National Gallery of Ireland


'The vivid ambience of the recordings, the quality of the chosen compositions, the incisive, animated, full-toned precision of the fiddle playing and performances by Bott make for 62 minutes of pure pleasure … these performances must rank amongst Bott's best (and that's saying something)' (BBC Music Magazine)

'Delectable is just about the right word for this sequence of pieces sung by Catherine Bott, with and without the fiddles of Pavlo Beznosiuk and Mark Levy. … the simplicity and spontaneity of the pared-down and often improvisatory approach enormously enhances the emotional impact of the music, and brings the listener extraordinarily close to the characters whose deepest feelings are being voiced' (The Daily Telegraph)

'The outstanding CD of the month' (Early Music Review)

'This is some of the most elegant singing I have heard and certainly some of the best fiddle playing now available … it is an excellent single-disc anthology of medieval song' (American Record Guide)

'In every respect this CD is an utter delight. The music is charming, the performances infectious, the recording is simply outstanding and the booklet complete with full texts and translations into modern English, is a real pleasure to read … this disc is a source of unreserved pleasure' (International Record Review)

'A sublime survey of music and textual conceits from a remote yet immediately communicative past … soprano and string players wear their classical training lightly, catching the folk flavour of this beguiling repertoire' (Classic FM Magazine)

'We had to wait five years for its release. Believe me, it was worth the wait. Hear this haunting music' (Fanfare, USA)

'Charmingly and effectively done, it is well worth hearing' (Scotland on Sunday)
Petrarch’s poem Vergene bella is a plea to the Virgin for help in a man’s struggle with his life; it would have been blasphemous to say so in Dufay’s lifetime, but the lyric is almost like a troubadour’s plea to his beloved and distant lady. The difference is that the singer trusts completely in the Virgin: ‘You have never turned away—hear my prayer.’

from notes by Catherine Bott © 2006

Dans la mise en musique du poème de Pétrarque, Vergene bella, un homme en proie aux difficultés de la vie supplie la Vierge de l’aider. Le dire au temps de Dufay aurait été blasphématoire, mais cette chansons ressemble presque à la supplique d’un troubadour à sa dame, lointaine et bien-aimée, à cette différence près qu’ici, le héros a une confiance absolue en la Vierge: «Tu ne t’es jamais détournée, entends ma prière.»

extrait des notes rédigées par Catherine Bott © 2006
Français: Hypérion

Petrarcas Gedicht Vergene bella handelt es sich um einen Appell an die Jungfrau Maria, einem Mann bei der Bewältigung seines Lebens zu helfen; zu Lebzeiten Dufays hätte es als lästerlich gegolten, so etwas zu sagen, aber der Text ähnelt sehr dem Appell eines Troubadours an seine geliebte und ferne Dame. Der Unterschied ist nur, dass der Sänger der Jungfrau vollkommen vertraut: „Du wandtest dich nie ab, erhöre mein Gebet.“

aus dem Begleittext von Catherine Bott © 2006
Deutsch: Anne Steeb/Bernd Müller

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Sacred and Secular Music from six centuries
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