As with the royal monastery of Brou conceived as a loving memorial to her husband Philibert, who died tragically young, Margaret of Austria saw the sumptuously illuminated chansonniers ( collections of songs) she compiled as intimate diaries in which she could give free rein to her sighs and "regrets". The highly cultivated princess assembled a collection of polyphonic pieces by the finest Franco-Flemish composers which perfectly mirrored her inmost emotions The composers featured in the volume represent the follower of the Franco-Flemish musicians who reigned supreme throughout Europe from the early fifteenth century until the dawn of the seventeenth century. All the chansons on this CD except one are taken from this GrandRead more Chansonnier. This manuscript volume, so called because of its size (36.5 x 25cm) is now conserved in the Royal Library in Brussels. It comprises fifty eight chansons and was commissioned by Margaret from her regular copyist. A substantial proportion of the fifty or so extant manuscripts produced by Alimire were commissioned by Margaret and offered as gifts by her. But this was not the case with the present album, specifically intended to the princes; it was, in the end, both a present to herself and a precious gift to the posterity. It was produced with meticulous care, and, more than any other, this sumptuous volume marks Margaret's importance as princess, faithful Christian, patron, literary muse, compiler and poet. Read less
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