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Le royaume oublie - The Forgotten Kingdom / Savall, Hesperion XXI

Hesperion Xxi / Savall
Release Date: 03/09/2010 
Label:  Alia Vox   Catalog #: 9873  
Composer:  Various
Performer:  Marc MauillonPascal BertinMontserrat FiguerasLuis Vilamajó,   ... 
Conductor:  Jordi Savall
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Capella Reial de CatalunyaHespèrion XXI
Number of Discs: 3 
Recorded in: Multi 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

This is a hybrid Super Audio CD playable on both regular and Super Audio CD players.

The forgotten kingdom of the title, which geographically corresponded with the modern French Midi, was a realm of the mind as well as a physical landscape. Until Innocent III launched a crusade against the Cathar/Albigenisan heretics, Occitania was a place where many traditions and faiths could co-exist and fruitfully interact. It absorbed influences from Al-Andalus and Byzantium, preserved Latinate culture, and boasted its own tongue – the langue d’oc of the troubadours – which would eventually be supplanted by the Northern French langue d’oil.

The three-disc album follows the story of the Cathars from mid-tenth-century
Read more origins to their persecution, dispersal and ultimate destruction, and concludes in the late 15th-century. As is customary with Jordi Savall’s projects, the album presents vivid theatre for the ear, incorporating recited texts as well as instrumental and vocal music, succeeding as drama just as triumphantly as it does as music.

The extravagant packaging, a fat hardback book with the CDs held in its covers, contains extensive background material in seven languages, including Occitan, and, as with the choice of music, contextualises the tale that Savall, Montserrat Figueras and their colleagues set out to tell: we are shown, for example, the creation of the Inquisition to suppress heresy and the conflict between the Guelphs and the Ghibelines, which would affect Dante, who defined Occitain as ‘the lands where the language of Oc is spoken’. The performances by La Cappella and Hespèrion are as magical as ever, and they are joined by several marvellous guest musicians from Armenia, Bulgaria, Turkey and Morocco.

Performance: 5 (out of 5), Sound: 5 (out of 5)

-- Barry Witherden, BBC Music Magazine


Catharism was the name given to a Christian religious sect that appeared in the Languedoc region of Southern France and flourished in the 12th and 13th centuries. Catharism had its roots in the Paulician movement in Armenia and the Bogomils of Bulgaria with whom the Paulicians merged. The Cathars saw matter as intrinsically evil: they denied that Jesus could become incarnate and still be the son of God. The Catholic Church regarded the sect as dangerously heretical. Faced with the rapid spread of the movement across the Languedoc region, the Church called for a crusade, which was carried out by knights from Northern France and Germany and was known as the Albigensian Crusade. The anti-Cathar Albigensian Crusade, and the inquisition which followed it, entirely eradicated the Cathars. The Albigensian Crusade had the effect of greatly weakening the semi-independent southern principalities included in the area of Occitania, such as Toulouse, ultimately bringing them under direct control of the King of France. Occitania, which had the misfortune of being the collateral victim of the Albigensian Crusade, used to be the crossroads of many cultures: Arabic Al-Andalus, Northern France and Flanders, Italy and even Constantinople. From this melting pot emerged a very refined culture, which culminated in the troubadour tradition: it subsequently spread to Italy, Spain and even Greece. Under the influence of the troubadours, related new movements sprang up throughout Europe: the Minnesingers in Germany, trovadorismo in Galicia and Portugal and that of the trouvères in northern France. This album explores the ‘classical' period of the troubadour school around the turn of the 13th century, but also provides us with a comprehensive historical and artistic background of this Golden Age. It is time we remembered this ‘forgotten' kingdom from which so much Western culture evolved.

La Tragédie Cathare. The Albigensian Crusade

Montserrat Figueras, Pascal Bertin, Lluís Vilamajó, Marc Mauillon, Furio Zanasi

Gérard Gourian, occitan
René Zosso, français et latin

Direction: Jordi Savall

CD 1 Apparition et Rayonnement du Catharisme - L'Essor de l'Occitanie ca. 950 - 1204

I Aux Origines du Catharisme: Orient et Occident: 950-1099
1/2 Origines: Les Bogomiles- Taksim & Danse (Bulgare)/De l'Orient a l'Europe: Veri dulcis in tempore (mss.1010)
3 Premiers bûchers d'hérétiques à Orléans et à Turin: Tambours & Duduk
4 Occitanie accueille les juifs d'Al Andalus : Les Trois principes, alef, mem, shin. Chant Juif sur la Cabala
5/6 Le Concile de Reims condamne les hérétiques (Tambours & Cloches). Le Paire Sant, la prière Cathare
7 Schisme entre Rome et Constantinople. Chant byzantin. Conquête de Jérusalem par Raymond de Saint-Gilles. Fanfare de Croisade

II L'Essor de l'Occitanie : 1100-1159
8/9 L'Occitanie miroir chrétien de l'Andalous Mawachah Chamoulo. Taksim & Danse arabo andalouse
10 Bûcher du dignitaire Bogomile Basili à Constantinople. Plainte I (Duduk & Kaval)
11 Le temps des Troubadours et de la "fin amour". Pos de Chantar. Guilhem de Peitieu
12 Aliénor d'Aquitaine divorce de Louis VII. A chantar m'er de so Comtesa Beatritz de Dia
13/14 Lettre d'Evervin de Steinfeld au Père Bernard. Mort de Raimon Bereguer IV. Epître récitée en Latin. Planctus: Mentem meam

III L'expansion du Catharisme : 1160-1204
15 Bûchers à Bonn, Cologne et Mayence. "Ave generosa". Hildegarde von Bingen
16/17 Concile Cathare. Bûchers collectifs: Prière cathare
"Consolament". Henry Marsiac prêche contre les Cathares
18/19 Pere I de Catalogne et II d'Aragon/ Innocent III, Pape (1198-1216). A per pauc de chantar – Pèire Vidal
20 Guilhabert de Castras ordonne Esclarmonda de Foix. Chant de la Sybille Occitane

CD2 La Croisade contre les Albigeois - Invasion de l'Occitanie 1204 - 1228

IV Vers l'affrontement: 1204-1208
1/3 Dispute de Carcassonne (cathares et cisterciens). Texte récité en latin. Chant spirituel Quant ai lo mon consirat.
4 Raimond VI Comte de Tolosa est excommuniée. Molt era dous e plazens. Giraut de Bornelh.
5 L'assassinat de Pierre de Castelnau, Légat du Pape. E l'abas de Cistels. Guillaume de Tudela, Chanson Vers 4
6/7 Appel à la Croisade contre les Albigeois: Texte récité & Cant l'apostolis saub. Guillaume de Tudela, Chanson Vers 5

V La croisade contre les Albigeois : 1209-1229.
8/9 Siège et massacre de Béziers (20.000 morts) Fanfares et Le barnatges de Fransa. Guillaume de Tudela, Chanson Vers 21
10 "Planh" pour la mort de Raimon Roger de Trencavel. Quascus plor e planh . Guilhem Augier Novella/Giraut de Bornelh
11 Siège et Massacre de Lavaur. Bûcher de 400 cathares. Lavaurs fon tan fortz vila Guillaume de Tudela, Chanson Vers 68
12/13 Chronique Rotense. Texte récité. Sirventes à Pere I le Catholique. Vai, Hugonet, ses bistensa Raimon de Miraval
14 Chanson dirigé à Pere II d'Aragon. Bel m'es q'ieu chant e coindei. Raimon de Miraval
15 Défaite de Muret et Mort de Pere I, le Catholique. Aissi cum es genser Pascors Raimon de Miraval
16 Mort de Simon de Montfort. L'Epictafi de S. de Montfort Anonyme, Chanson Vers 208
17 Siège de Toulouse et fin de la Croisade. D'un sirventes far. Guilhem Figueira

CD 3 Persécution, diaspora et fin du Catharisme 1229 - 1463

VI L'Inquisition; persécution des cathares et élimination du catharisme. 1230-1300
1/2 Grégoire IX crée l'Inquisition (Fanfare). Sirventes contre les faux Clercs. Clergue si fan pastor – Peire Cardenal
3 Révolte, reddition et bûcher (225 cathares) à Montségur. Kaval & Duduk
4 Légalisation de la torture avec la bulle Ad exstirpanda. Texte récité en latin
5 Sirventès avec des reproches à Dieu au Dernier Jugement. Peire Cardenal " Un sirventes novel vueill comensar"
6/7 Victoire des Guelfes sur les Gibelins. Stampitta. Sirventes contre les inquisiteurs. Del tot vey remaner valor – Guilhem Montanhagol
8/9 Reddition de Sirmione. Bûcher (200) à l'Arène de Verona: Planctus Lavandose le mane (instr.) Prière cathare Pater Noster
10 Révolte à Carcassonne contre l'Inquisition. Sirventes contre les clercs, prédicateurs et dominicains. Tartarassa ni voutor P. Cardenal VII Diaspora vers la Catalogne et fin des Cathares orientaux. 1309-1463
11 L'Apocalypse selon l'Evangile Cathare du Pseudo-Jean V, 4 Audi pontus, audi tellus. Anonyme mss. Las Huelgas
12 Philippe IV expulse les juifs de France. El Rey de Francia. Anonyme (Séfarade)
14 Prédication. Bûcher des Jacme et Guilhem Autier et d'autres cathares. Texte récité en occitan " Il n'est pas étonnant…"
15/16 Guilhem Bélibaste s'exile en Catalogne et meurt sur le bûcher à Villerouge-Termenès. (1321) Planctus instrumental
17 Alfons III, roi d'Aragon et Catalogne, dit El Benigne. Anonyme/Dufays. "Audi, benigne"
18 Guerre des cent ans entre France et l'Angleterre. Ballade de la Pucelle. J.Savall d'après anonyme XVe siècle
19 Bûcher de Jeanne la Pucelle. (19 ans). Planctus O crudele suplicium. J. Savall d'après anonyme XVe siècle
20/21 La Fin du Catharisme Oriental Prise de Constantinople (et Bosnie en 1463). Der mak?m-? Saba u??le? Çenber / Plainte Kaval
22 Lamentatio Sanctæ Eclesiæ Constantinopolitanæ de Guillaume Dufay. "O très piteulx de tout espoir fontaine"
23 Hommage aux "Bons hommes". Si ay perdut mon saber. J. Savall d'après Ponç d'Ortafa.
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Works on This Recording

Work(s) by Various
Performer:  Marc Mauillon (Baritone), Pascal Bertin (Countertenor), Montserrat Figueras (Soprano),
Luis Vilamajó (Tenor), Furio Zanasi (Baritone)
Conductor:  Jordi Savall
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Capella Reial de Catalunya,  Hespèrion XXI

Featured Sound Samples

A chantar m'er de so (Comtessa de Dia)
Aissi cum es genser Pascors (Raimon de Miraval)
Fanfare (Anonymous)
Ballade de la Pucelle (Savall)

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