Renaissance Music

No Time in Eternity

Consort songs for 5 viols and a countertenor

This short poem by Robert Herrick (English Renaissance) states the theme that lies at the heart of this entire project. In its programme, the Céladon Ensemble takes no account of conventional chronology and instead focuses on the clear artistic link between the music of the English Renaissance and English contemporary music.
The distance between these periods is extreme, yet the composers blended vocal and instrumental colours with the same intentions: to move the listener deeply and to attain a fullness of sound that was both powerful and yet caressing. 

During the reign of Elizabeth I, William Byrd found that the Consort Song provided him with the perfect vehicle for poetry. In 1995, Michael Nyman composed the Self-Laudatory Hymn of Inanna and Her Omnipotence; he then composed No Time in Eternity, a cosmic and timeless piece, specifically for Céladon in 2016.

The Céladon Ensemble has created this programme that includes these works and others by the same composers. It demonstrates of the possibility of disregarding temporal markers in works that are nonetheless defined by their respective periods. 

Soledad tenguo de ti

Portuguese music of the Renaissance

The cantigas, vilancetes and romances were composed when Portugal was on the decline politically, but still superb. These pieces range in mood from sadness and melancholy, prefiguring the saudade of the Portuguese fado, to exuberant joy. Little Portuguese music from the end of the 16th century has survived. Most of the pieces are found in the Cancionereiro Geral, the Cancioneiro de Palacio, the Elvas Cancioneiro and the Cancioneiro da Biblioteca Nacional. Most of the composers are anonymous, with the exception of Pedro de Escobar but some texts are by famous poets (Juan Fernandez de Heredia, Andrade de Caminba, Miguel de Andrade, …). They usually are in Castilian.  Indeed, Spanish was the language of intellectuals at the Portuguese court, where the nobility was bilingual. 

This bilingualism led to the appearance of Portuguese phonetic influences in Castilian. Thus, the Portuguese word saudade (nostalgic melancholy or yearning) was simply translated into saludad. Portuguese music of the Renaissance period is quite surprising: its simple but effective harmonies and clear, light counterpoint ensured that it was perfectly accessible to a wide public. The themes of absence, disillusionment, hopelessness, and renunciation of love are recurrent. This very fine music, combining the most learned and the most popular aspects of the Renaissance period, shows Portugal at its most traditional, as well as evoking the languor and spice of Brazilian bossa nova.

Soledad tengo de ti : Musiques de la renaissance portugaise

Performers

Paulin Bündgen, countertenor & artistic director
Luc Gaugler, viol
Florent Marie, lute
Gwénaël Bihan, recorders
Ludwin Bernaténé, percussions

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