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The Unicorn: Medieval French Songs


Release Date: 09/06/1994 
Label:  Erato   Catalog #: 94830   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Philippe de ThaonAnonymousMarie de France. Thibault de Champagne,   ... 
Performer:  Anne AzémaCheryl Ann FultonShira KammenJesse Lepkoff
Number of Discs: 1 
Length: 0 Hours 57 Mins. 

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This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Anne Azema always seems to bring a breath of fresh air to whatever she does, whether reading or singing. After her remarkable performance in ''Le Fou sur le Pont'' (see page 123) here she is again, but central stage this time, singing of springtime and love, of beasts and miracles, of a woman's grief but also of her joy. The melodies, often unforgettable in their simplicity, are interpreted with tenderness and quiet understanding. Many are ravishingly beautiful, in particular those describing the panther and the unicorn and also several of the songs from the Cycle of St Leocadia in Gauthier de Coincy's Miracles of Our Lady. One of the finest songs in the programme is the thirteenth-century Bele Doette, a saga of grief experienced by a noble Read more lady on hearing the news of her beloved's untimely death during the jousting. Azema's control of the slow rhythm and deepening emotion is total, and she matches this with perfection, as the story unfolds, in her singing of the short sad refrain that ends each strophe.

The occasional instrumental interludes, for example D'un gupil (''The fox's dance'') or Au renouvel provide graceful linkage between songs and readings; the accompaniments are generally discreet and understated, though the flute comes into its own in one song—En mai au douz tens nouvel—with its charming imitations of birdsong. I am always hoping that one day someone will discover exactly how the troubadours would have accompanied their songs, but in the absence of any precise indications, why not just sit back and enjoy these delightfully musical flights of fancy?

-- Mary Berry, Gramophone [11/1994]
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Works on This Recording

1. Serena en mer hante by Philippe de Thaon
Performer:  Anne Azéma (Soprano), Cheryl Ann Fulton (Harp), Shira Kammen (Vielle)
Period: Medieval 
Written: France 
Date of Recording: 1993 
Venue:  Campion Center,Westo 
2. En mai au douz tens nouvel by Anonymous
Performer:  Anne Azéma (Soprano), Cheryl Ann Fulton (Harp), Jesse Lepkoff (Flute)
Period: Medieval 
Written: France 
Date of Recording: 1993 
Venue:  Campion Center,Westo 
3. Issi avint qu'un cers by Marie de France
Performer:  Anne Azéma (Soprano), Shira Kammen (Vielle)
Period: Medieval 
Written: France 
Date of Recording: 1993 
Venue:  Campion Center,Westo 
4. D'un gupil by Marie de France
Performer:  Anne Azéma (Soprano), Shira Kammen (Vielle)
Period: Medieval 
Written: France 
Date of Recording: 1993 
Venue:  Campion Center,Westo 
5. La danse de gupil by Marie de France
Performer:  Shira Kammen (Vielle)
Date of Recording: 1993 
Venue:  Campion Center,Westo 
6. Ensement com la panthere by Anonymous
Performer:  Anne Azéma (Soprano), Cheryl Ann Fulton (Harp)
Period: Medieval 
Written: France 
Date of Recording: 1993 
Venue:  Campion Center,Westo 
7. Monosceros by Philippe de Thaon
Performer:  Anne Azéma (Soprano), Shira Kammen (Vielle)
Date of Recording: 1993 
Venue:  Campion Center,Westo 
8. Aussi come unicorne sui by . Thibault de Champagne
Performer:  Anne Azéma (Soprano), Shira Kammen (Vielle)
Date of Recording: 1993 
Venue:  Campion Center,Westo 
9. Le Cycle de Sainte Leochade by Gautier de Coincy
Performer:  Anne Azéma (Soprano), Cheryl Ann Fulton (Harp), Shira Kammen (Vielle),
Jesse Lepkoff (Flute)
Period: Medieval 
Written: France 
Date of Recording: 1993 
Venue:  Campion Center,Westo 
10. Au renouvel by Anonymous
Performer:  Cheryl Ann Fulton (Harp), Shira Kammen (Vielle), Jesse Lepkoff (Flute)
Period: Medieval 
Date of Recording: 1993 
Venue:  Campion Center,Westo 
11. Belle Doette by Anonymous
Performer:  Anne Azéma (Soprano), Jesse Lepkoff (Flute)
Period: Medieval 
Written: France 
Date of Recording: 1993 
Venue:  Campion Center,Westo 
12. Je chevauchoie l'autrier by Moniot de Paris
Performer:  Anne Azéma (Soprano), Cheryl Ann Fulton (Harp), Shira Kammen (Vielle)
Period: Medieval 
Written: 13th Century; France 
Date of Recording: 1993 
Venue:  Campion Center,Westo 

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