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Les Fantaisies De Josquin / Lewon, Ensemble Leones


Release Date: 06/28/2011 
Label:  Christophorus   Catalog #: 77348   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Josquin Des PrézAnonymousde PlanquardAdam von Fulda,   ... 
Performer:  Noelle-Anne Darbellay
Conductor:  Marc Lewon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Leones
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 11 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews



LES FANTAISIES DE JOSQUIN: Instrumental Music of Josquin Desprez Marc Lewon, cond; Ens Leones CHRISTOPHORUS 77348 (71:05)


Music by JOSQUIN, ANONYMOUS, PÄRT


This album documents a period—the late 15th century—when Josquin was the most honored and best-known musician in Europe, and when instrumental ensembles became increasingly popular in the performance of what had originally been vocal music. Some municipal groups and those employed by academies Read more were relatively small; others, such as the 18 instrumentalists split into two ensembles (trumpets, and the rest) at the d’Este court in the early 1470s, were equally a matter of personal enthusiasm and a sign of status. The Italian courts, experiencing a confluence of trade with all the wealth and power that brings, appear from our vantage point as the first secular institution to invest in this kind of instrumental music-making on such a scale; one of the pieces of surviving evidence for this is the so-called Casanatense Chansonnier , compiled in the last decades of the 15th century. The many songs it includes by Ockeghem, Ghizeghem, Busnois, and earlier composers are provided only with short textual incipits, because the emphasis is on instrumental polyphonic arrangement and performance.


The common practice of creating ingenious variations for voice of secular melodies transferred to instrumental treatment, with sacred selections being handled in a similar fashion minus the risk of religious disapproval. (You couldn’t take a Sanctus and set it as a secular contrafactum without opening yourself to the charge of irreverence, but a nonvocal arrangement avoided this.) The focus on this disc, however, is on the brilliance of Josquin’s arrangements. There are also examples included where, as Mark Lewon notes, some debate exists over the authorship of an arrangement—as in Ach hülff mich leid , credited in various period sources to four different composers, and a five-voiced La Spagna , credited at its earliest to Josquin in one of several mid 16th-century German publications noted for their attributions to “big name” composers to improve sales. Whether or not these are actually by Josquin, their quality ensures that they make for good listening.


Kudos to Lewon and his ensemble, too, for planning such a sensible program. The focus is mostly on well-known pieces, such as Fortuna desperata, Adieu mes amours , and the seemingly inevitable L’Homme armé , in groups of two or more arrangements of each. ( De Tous biens plaine receives five.) Several program divisions lead off with a simple monodie , and continue with versions of the same piece that explore standard techniques of augmentation, diminution, inversion, etc. Other individual selections are included that may never have possessed a text, such as La Bernardina , or the enigmatic Hélas madame, whose lines sound very much like a song but takes a unique form and has no text in any accessible sources.


Another of the charms of this album is the choice of instrumentation for each arrangement. Granted, the texts (where they exist) aren’t subject to word-painting, but there is often a discernable expressive mood, and this is reflected on each cut. Consider the mock-lament Si je perdoys mon amy . Its presumably original monodic form relies heavily upon repetition and a narrow vocal range, with a strong folk cast—and the Ensemble Leones responds by employing vocals and vielle, the latter frequently supplying the melody above a tonic drone when not in accompaniment. The first of two settings of the piece by Josquin, being slower and gentler, employs a soft ensemble of viola d’arco, harp, and gittern, while the second, bright, quicker and cheerful in its dance-like rhythms and chattering imitation, is given to the viola d’arco, Renaissance gamba, and cornetto. Within a framework of five expert string instrumentalists, one vocalist, and one cornetto performer, the ensemble achieves a pleasing variety and close musical relationship that both clarifies textures and subtly underscores the general expressive qualities of each arrangement.


It remains to note one modern curiosity included on the program: Sei gelobt, du Baum , by Arvo Pärt. The piece was composed when a fragment of silver fir, dug up in a Swiss vineyard, was discovered to have an age of more than 2,000 years, and was used to construct the top of a Baroque violin and a gittern. Lewon was engaged in an advisory capacity during its construction, and Pärt announced that he would compose something for it. Neither instrument was used on this album, if I understand correctly from the ensemble’s website, and the musical style doesn’t fit in with the rest of the disc, but it still makes for an interesting inclusion.


Excellent engineering, but only original texts and German translations. No English versions. The German translations are quite good, if that helps. It’s in any case the only negative to chalk up to this excellent album.


FANFARE: Barry Brenesal
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Works on This Recording

1. Ile fantazies de Joskin, for instruments for 3 parts by Josquin Des Préz
Performer:  Noelle-Anne Darbellay (Violin)
Conductor:  Marc Lewon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Leones
Period: Renaissance 
Written: France 
Venue:  Heilig Kreuz Kirche Binningen-Bottmingen 
Length: 3 Minutes 6 Secs. 
2. La plus des plus by Josquin Des Préz
Performer:  Noelle-Anne Darbellay (Violin)
Conductor:  Marc Lewon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Leones
Period: Renaissance 
Written: France 
Venue:  Heilig Kreuz Kirche Binningen-Bottmingen 
Length: 1 Minutes 52 Secs. 
3. Chanson for 4 parts by Josquin Des Préz
Performer:  Noelle-Anne Darbellay (Violin)
Conductor:  Marc Lewon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Leones
Period: Renaissance 
Venue:  Heilig Kreuz Kirche Binningen-Bottmingen 
Length: 2 Minutes 14 Secs. 
4. De tous biens playne by Anonymous
Performer:  Noelle-Anne Darbellay (Violin)
Conductor:  Marc Lewon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Leones
Period: Renaissance 
Written: Flanders, Belgium 
Venue:  Heilig Kreuz Kirche Binningen-Bottmingen 
Length: 1 Minutes 30 Secs. 
5. De tous biens pleine, motet for 3 parts by Josquin Des Préz
Performer:  Noelle-Anne Darbellay (Violin)
Conductor:  Marc Lewon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Leones
Period: Renaissance 
Venue:  Heilig Kreuz Kirche Binningen-Bottmingen 
Length: 2 Minutes 8 Secs. 
6. De tous biens playne ŕ 4 by Josquin Des Préz
Performer:  Noelle-Anne Darbellay (Violin)
Conductor:  Marc Lewon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Leones
Period: Renaissance 
Written: France 
Venue:  Heilig Kreuz Kirche Binningen-Bottmingen 
Length: 1 Minutes 13 Secs. 
7. De tous biens ŕ 4 by de Planquard
Performer:  Noelle-Anne Darbellay (Violin)
Conductor:  Marc Lewon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Leones
Period: Renaissance 
Venue:  Heilig Kreuz Kirche Binningen-Bottmingen 
Length: 1 Minutes 18 Secs. 
8. Ach hülff mich leid ŕ 4 (after Desprez) by Adam von Fulda
Performer:  Noelle-Anne Darbellay (Violin)
Conductor:  Marc Lewon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Leones
Period: Renaissance 
Venue:  Heilig Kreuz Kirche Binningen-Bottmingen 
Length: 7 Minutes 57 Secs. 
9. La Spagna, for 3 voices (Odhecaton C) by Anonymous
Performer:  Noelle-Anne Darbellay (Violin)
Conductor:  Marc Lewon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Leones
Written: 1504 
Venue:  Heilig Kreuz Kirche Binningen-Bottmingen 
Length: 2 Minutes 41 Secs. 
10. La Spagna, song for 5 parts (doubtful) by Josquin Des Préz
Performer:  Noelle-Anne Darbellay (Violin)
Conductor:  Marc Lewon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Leones
Period: Renaissance 
Venue:  Heilig Kreuz Kirche Binningen-Bottmingen 
Length: 2 Minutes 46 Secs. 
11. Chanson for 4 parts (attributed) by Josquin Des Préz
Performer:  Noelle-Anne Darbellay (Violin)
Conductor:  Marc Lewon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Leones
Period: Renaissance 
Venue:  Heilig Kreuz Kirche Binningen-Bottmingen 
Length: 3 Minutes 4 Secs. 
12. Fortuna desperata by Francesco Spinacino
Performer:  Noelle-Anne Darbellay (Violin)
Conductor:  Marc Lewon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Leones
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1507; Italy 
Venue:  Heilig Kreuz Kirche Binningen-Bottmingen 
Length: 1 Minutes 44 Secs. 
13. Fortuna disperata by Josquin Des Préz
Performer:  Noelle-Anne Darbellay (Violin)
Conductor:  Marc Lewon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Leones
Period: Renaissance 
Written: France 
Venue:  Heilig Kreuz Kirche Binningen-Bottmingen 
Length: 1 Minutes 8 Secs. 
14. Fortuna Desperata by Anonymous
Performer:  Noelle-Anne Darbellay (Violin)
Conductor:  Marc Lewon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Leones
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 15th Century 
Venue:  Heilig Kreuz Kirche Binningen-Bottmingen 
Length: 1 Minutes 14 Secs. 
15. Une musque de Biscaye by Josquin Des Préz
Performer:  Noelle-Anne Darbellay (Violin)
Conductor:  Marc Lewon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Leones
Period: Renaissance 
Venue:  Heilig Kreuz Kirche Binningen-Bottmingen 
Length: 2 Minutes 3 Secs. 
16. Une mousse de Bisquaye by Anonymous
Performer:  Noelle-Anne Darbellay (Violin)
Conductor:  Marc Lewon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Leones
Period: Renaissance 
Venue:  Heilig Kreuz Kirche Binningen-Bottmingen 
Length: 2 Minutes 15 Secs. 
17. Je sey bien dire, song for 3 parts (text not preserved) by Josquin Des Préz
Performer:  Noelle-Anne Darbellay (Violin)
Conductor:  Marc Lewon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Leones
Period: Renaissance 
Venue:  Heilig Kreuz Kirche Binningen-Bottmingen 
Length: 1 Minutes 21 Secs. 
18. La Bernardina by Josquin Des Préz
Performer:  Noelle-Anne Darbellay (Violin)
Conductor:  Marc Lewon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Leones
Period: Renaissance 
Written: Italy 
Venue:  Heilig Kreuz Kirche Binningen-Bottmingen 
Length: 1 Minutes 26 Secs. 
19. A l'eure que ie vous by Josquin Des Préz
Performer:  Noelle-Anne Darbellay (Violin)
Conductor:  Marc Lewon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Leones
Period: Renaissance 
Venue:  Heilig Kreuz Kirche Binningen-Bottmingen 
Length: 1 Minutes 6 Secs. 
20. Helas madame, song for 3 or 4 parts by Josquin Des Préz
Performer:  Noelle-Anne Darbellay (Violin)
Conductor:  Marc Lewon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Leones
Period: Renaissance 
Venue:  Heilig Kreuz Kirche Binningen-Bottmingen 
Length: 3 Minutes 40 Secs. 
21. Si je perdais mon amy by Traditional
Performer:  Noelle-Anne Darbellay (Violin)
Conductor:  Marc Lewon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Leones
Period: Renaissance 
Venue:  Heilig Kreuz Kirche Binningen-Bottmingen 
Length: 2 Minutes 31 Secs. 
22. Si j'ay perdu mon amy, song for 3 parts by Josquin Des Préz
Performer:  Noelle-Anne Darbellay (Violin)
Conductor:  Marc Lewon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Leones
Period: Renaissance 
Written: France 
Venue:  Heilig Kreuz Kirche Binningen-Bottmingen 
Length: 2 Minutes 17 Secs. 
23. Si j'ay perdu mon amy, song for 4 parts (attributed) by Josquin Des Préz
Performer:  Noelle-Anne Darbellay (Violin)
Conductor:  Marc Lewon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Leones
Period: Renaissance 
Venue:  Heilig Kreuz Kirche Binningen-Bottmingen 
Length: 0 Minutes 57 Secs. 
24. L'homme armé, chanson by Anonymous
Performer:  Noelle-Anne Darbellay (Violin)
Conductor:  Marc Lewon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Leones
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 14th Century 
Venue:  Heilig Kreuz Kirche Binningen-Bottmingen 
Length: 0 Minutes 36 Secs. 
25. L'homme armé ŕ 4, improvisation (after Desprez) by Ensemble Leones
Performer:  Noelle-Anne Darbellay (Violin)
Conductor:  Marc Lewon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Leones
Venue:  Heilig Kreuz Kirche Binningen-Bottmingen 
Length: 3 Minutes 5 Secs. 
26. Cela sans plus by Josquin Des Préz
Performer:  Noelle-Anne Darbellay (Violin)
Conductor:  Marc Lewon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Leones
Period: Renaissance 
Venue:  Heilig Kreuz Kirche Binningen-Bottmingen 
Length: 1 Minutes 24 Secs. 
27. Adieu mes amours by Bayeux Manuscr Anonymous
Performer:  Noelle-Anne Darbellay (Violin)
Conductor:  Marc Lewon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Leones
Period: Renaissance 
Venue:  Heilig Kreuz Kirche Binningen-Bottmingen 
Length: 0 Minutes 44 Secs. 
28. Adieu mes amours ŕ 4 (after Desprez) by Bonifacius Amerbach
Performer:  Noelle-Anne Darbellay (Violin)
Conductor:  Marc Lewon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Leones
Period: Renaissance 
Venue:  Heilig Kreuz Kirche Binningen-Bottmingen 
Length: 2 Minutes 1 Secs. 
29. Adieu, mes amours by Josquin Des Préz
Performer:  Noelle-Anne Darbellay (Violin)
Conductor:  Marc Lewon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Leones
Period: Renaissance 
Written: France 
Venue:  Heilig Kreuz Kirche Binningen-Bottmingen 
Length: 4 Minutes 23 Secs. 
30. Sei gelobt, du Baum, for baritone, violin, quinterne & contrabass by Arvo Pärt
Performer:  Noelle-Anne Darbellay (Violin)
Conductor:  Marc Lewon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Leones
Period: Contemporary 
Written: 2007 
Venue:  Heilig Kreuz Kirche Binningen-Bottmingen 
Length: 2 Minutes 54 Secs. 

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